Petr Mrazek looked good, and his teammates looked great.
The Red Wings swaggered out of Scottrade Center on Thursday night having pocketed a 5-1 victory over the Blues, the second time this season Detroit has taken two points from St. Louis.
The game featured plenty of firsts, for none more than Mrazek, who got the nod in net because Jimmy Howard had started nine straight games. Mrazek, a week away from his 21st birthday, became the 10th youngest goaltender to make his Red Wings debut.
For others, the game ended droughts: There was offense from the third and fourth lines in the form of goals by Daniel Cleary and Cory Emmerton, and assists from everyone else in the group. Defenseman Jakub Kindl also scored his first goal of the season.
"You need it," coach Mike Babcock said. "You can't just keep going back to the well. No different than the goaltending; you can't play Howie and ride him every night. You've got to play everybody, and I thought we got good minutes out of all our guys tonight."
Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula also had goals. It was the early scoring from the lesser sources that made a difference, though, especially when Emmerton doused the Blues' momentum 2 minutes after Alex Pietrangelo had halved a two-goal lead during a power play.
"We responded right away," Babcock said. "That was a real big goal by Emmer. Brunner too, and then Filppula."
Mrazek had a brief scare in the third period when "a guy stepped on my leg," he said, "and I thought he might cut me a little bit, but I think it's all right."
If there was any lingering pain, it was offset by the euphoria of his first NHL win. "It's like a dream," Mrazek said. "I didn't think I might play first NHL game my first season pro. I'm so happy. I hope it will continue."
Detroit 5, St. Louis 1: Red Wings' rookie goalie shines; 3rd, 4th lines ignite offense
Detroit Free Press | Feb 8