DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings have seen this out of Petr Mrazek before.
After a not-so-stellar performance one game, the rookie netminder bounces right back with a beyond-stellar outing his very next outing.
He did it again Tuesday night.
Mrazek stopped all 22 shots he faced to blank the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-0, and give the Wings the best-of-seven-series lead back at 2-1.
“He has lots of confidence,” Tomas Tatar said. “When the game didn’t go his way there was nothing he could do. He’s a good goalie. I feel like those goals they scored in Tampa weren’t his fault at all. We didn’t help him much. When we help Petr, Petr is helping us out too.”
Mrazek was pulled in Game 2 after two periods, allowing four goals on 18 shots.
This came after he stole Game 1 in Tampa, stopping 44 of the 46 shots he faced.
“What I tried to say so I can clear that up, if you think you can have a bounce-back game, that means that you had a bad game, right? You’re not playing in the NHL if you keep having bad games, that’s all I’m trying to say,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “You’ve got to play good every night, that’s the National Hockey (League), that’s how you get to be a starting goalie in the National Hockey League. We expect him to play good every night.”
Mrazek is now 4-0-1 with a 1.38 goals-against average with a .962 save percentage in the five games after he was relieved in a start.
“It’s over right now,” Mrazek said. “Don’t worry about the one we won today. Of course it helps you when you win first game home and you’re up 2-1 in the series.”
Mrazek also shut out the Lightning in the last regular season meeting between the teams. Tampa Bay was the highest scoring team in the league.
“I think Petr played pretty good in Game 2,” Landon Ferraro said. “He made a lot of saves, but
we kind of left him out to dry. A couple of them he had no chance on.”
Mrazek, who led the Mrazek helped lead the Grand Rapids Griffins to the Calder Cup in 2013.
“This is the Petr I’m used to watching,” Ferraro said. “We had our (Calder) Cup run a couple of years ago and that’s what he did for us every night. We’d give up a chance or two a game against good guys and he’d make sure he stands tall and made those saves for us. Then we’d take over and that’s all you need out of your goalie, making sure he can make up for a couple of mistakes throughout the night.”
Jimmy Howard had lost the starting job to Mrazek after back-to-back poor outings, but then regained it after the 23-year-old couldn’t provide any consistency between the pipes.
Then, Howard gave up three soft goals in an overtime loss to Montreal in the second to last regular season game.
Mrazek got the job back after making 33 saves to post a 2-0 shutout in the regular season finale over Carolina.
In Mrazek’s last six wins of the regular season he had a .982 save percentage (stopping 172 of 175 shots), a 0.50 goal against average and three shutouts.
It’s the first shutout by a Wings goalie since Howard blanked the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-0, on April 20, 2010.
He’s also just the 19th Wings goalie all-time to record a postseason shutout.