Montreal — Goaltender Petr Mrazek enjoys being in this atmosphere, in this situation.
The Red Wings desperately need victories with only six games left in the regular season and they’re turning to Mrazek tonight as they face the Montreal Canadiens tonight at 7:30 p.m. (FSD/97.1).
Mrazek was pulled Saturday after allowing four goals in a 7-2 loss against Pittsburgh.
Mrazek has been pulled in two of his last three starts and has lost three of his last four decisions — the only win, a 4-3 victory March 24 against Montreal, although in that game Mrazek allowed three third-period goals to make it interesting.
But Mrazek is looking forward to the challenge and intensity this evening.
“It’s always fun when you play for something,” said Mrazek of the Red Wings’ chase for a playoff spot. “You want to bring the two points home tonight.”
Mrazek is trying to bank on last season’s late season run in which behind his hot goaltending, the Red Wings clinched a playoff spot the final days of the regular season.
“It’s going to help when you look back in the end (last season),” Mrazek said. “I learned a lot from there.
“We have to play hard. We have six games left. We have to give everything to these games and have the result (we want).”
Mrazek has missed single games to a groin injury and the flu in the last month, but he refuses to put any of his recent inconsistencies squarely on those things.
“Sometimes goalies have games like that (Saturday’s loss) but you just keep going and do your best,” Mrazek said. “Every game is different and you have to battle through it.”
Only Mrazek, goaltender Jimmy Howard, defensemen Brendan Smith and Alexey Marchenko, and extra forwards Tomas Jurco and Teemu Pulkkinen took part in the optional morning skate.
…The Canadiens continue to be without star goalie Carey Price (lower body), defenseman P.K. Subban (sprained neck) and forward Brendan Gallagher (lower body).