Lightning stay patient, keep shooting on Mrazek

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Tampa Bay — The Red Wings have been through this themselves many times before in the playoffs.

A goaltender steals a game, and suddenly you're down a game.

This time, though, it was the Tampa Bay Lightning on the frustrated end, as Petr Mrazek stopped 44 shots in a 3-2 Red Wings victory in Game 1.

Heading into Saturday's Game 2, the Lightning don't feel they need to change much.

"We put up almost close to 50 shots in a playoff game," said captain Steven Stamkos, who had eight shots on Mrazek. "We're doing something right. We realized when we competed, we got pucks in deep. We got pucks on the net.

"It's just one of those times where it wasn't going in for us. We'll play similar to that for the next game, and we should be OK."

The Lightning outshot the Red Wings 46-14 but Mrazek's brilliance, along with an 0-for-7 night on the power play for Tampa Bay, did much to put Tampa behind 1-0 in the series.

Still, coach Jon Cooper couldn't find too many negatives.

"I couldn't draw the game up any better than the way we played it," Cooper said. "It's tough. You think about games, ultimately, it's not really how many you score, it's how many you keep out. When you're giving up two or less, you've got a pretty good chance of winning the game.

"You give up the third one, now it's sometimes you win, and sometimes you don't. Give up the fourth, you're probably losing the game. We gave up the one where it's in the balance. The game's in the balance."

"Give Mrazek credit, he played well tonight. We played pretty well, we just didn't win the game."

Bad goal

On the first two goals, both by Pavel Datsyuk, you can excuse goalie Ben Bishop.

The first was a redirect, and on the second Bishop was screened.

But Bishop has to stop the spinning backhander on which Luke Glendening scored shorthanded, giving the Red Wings a 3-1 lead early in the third period.

"I took a step out and I thought our guy would cut him off," Bishop said. "When he (Glendening) spun around I was trying to get back in net and he was able to slip one in five hole."

Bishop stopped 11 of 14 shots and was pretty lonely in his end most of the game.

"I felt fine," Bishop said. "Just waiting for a shot and I didn't have much action."

Power-play blues

For all their offensive personnel, the Lightning were only an average power play team during the regular season and weren't even that in Game 1.

The Lightning failed on seven power play chances although Mrazek was a key factor in Tampa Bay's failures.

"Obviously going 0 for 7 isn't good," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We had a lot of good looks, a lot of good chances, but to go 0 for 7 and let that shorthanded goal in the third period, it's a tough one to swallow.

"If we keep moving the puck, keep creating those chances, something's going to go in."