Wings' Mrazek riding high after Game 1 success

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Red Wings' Petr Mrazek was back to work Friday after a 44-save performance against the Lightning in Game 1.

Brandon, Fla. — One day later Petr Mrazek was ready to get back to work and help the Red Wings take commanding control in their playoff series against Tampa Bay.

Mrazek stopped 44 shots in Thursday's 3-2 Game 1 victory and easily won the personal matchup against Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop, whom many felt had the decided edge in net going into this series.

Mrazek isn't thinking that way.

"I don't think about it as a matchup going against the goalie," Mrazek said. "It matters about the Lightning and the Red Wings, that's what matters."

In that perspective, the Red Wings need to be better overall, what with only 14 shots on net and a seemingly endless parade to the penalty box.

But if Mrazek can continue to play well that will help considerably.

"He has confidence and he knows he's a good goalie," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "He was unbelievable. Now he has to restart and play the second game."

One of Mrazek's strengths is his ability to brush off pressure and stay on an even keel.

It's what he did against the Lightning in Game 1, treating his first NHL playoff start like any playoff game.

"I'm trying to make every game the same, just to try to win the game," Mrazek said. "That's what matters."

Mrazek carried Grand Rapids to the Calder Cup championship in 2013 and attempted to take what learned in that pro playoff run into this series.

"I was really excited for this game, just like two years ago when I had my first AHL playoff game," Mrazek said. "It was the same way. I just stay focused and stopped the puck the best I can."