DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ special teams got a workout Monday night.
The power unit was 2-for-8, while the penalty kill was 8-for-8 as the Wings blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-0, at Joe Louis Arena.
“I couldn’t believe all the penalties,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose team improved to 3-1-1 in the preseason. “We have to be more disciplined I guess. Don’t know if they’re trying to get their quota up during exhibition, don’t know what it is exactly. I don’t know if we needed that many, but obviously we got some work.”
Detroit has yet to allow a power play goal in five preseason games in 23 chances, going 8-for-8 on the penalty kill against the Leafs.
“There was no flow, zero flow,” Babcock said. “That’s the problem with it. You want to play all your guys and you can’t play them. We got good work from our guys.”
“Special teams bit us in the butt,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said.
Nick Jensen and Riley Sheahan each scored on the power play, while Petr Mrazek made 27 saves. Tomas Jurco added an empty-net goal.
“The penalty kill was amazing obviously, I don’t even know how many there were but there were a lot of minutes that we had to kill,” Ryan Sproul said. “We did a great job offense and defense and it was hard on us but we killed it off.”
Toronto goalie James Reimer stopped 14 shots.
“Your best penalty killer is your goaltender and I thought he was really good, solid, good plays with the puck, he gave us an opportunity,” Babcock said.
“We killed lots of penalties, so a 3-0 game, I think it was a good effort from everyone,” Mrazek said. “I felt great from the beginning of the game. We had penalty kill right away, 17 seconds, you get into the game and then continue that work.”
Mrazek is in a battle to perhaps push Jonas Gustavsson for the backup job with the Wings.
“We’ll see what happens in couple days and then go from there,” Mrazek said. “I’m trying to do my best. Work hard every practice and every game I get so I’m happy for that.”
It took a while for the Wings’ power play to get going, finally striking on their fifth chance of the night. Jensen’s blast from the point deflected off Daniel Winnik’s stick just 33 seconds into the man advantage.
The second tally came on the seventh power play of the net, when Sheahan drove home a rebound off Reimer down low early in the third period. Sproul and Xavier Ouellet each drew assists.
The Wings lost two players during the course of the game. Tomas Nosek was ejected early in the second period for hitting Toronto’s Stuart Percy from behind. In the first period, defenseman Aaron Rome left with a lower-body injury.