By NOAH TRISTER/AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) – Petr Mrazek made 22 saves for his first postseason shutout, and Pavel Datsyuk, Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening scored for Detroit in a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night that gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead in their playoff series.READ MORE: Whitmer Spoke About The Economic Jumpstart Plan Wednesday During The Macomb County Chamber Luncheon
The 23-year-old Mrazek was coach Mike Babcock’s choice to start in this series instead of Jimmy Howard, and the youngster has acquitted himself well in his postseason debut.
He made 44 saves in a 3-2 victory in the opener, and although he was pulled after two periods in a 5-1 loss the following game, Mrazek bounced back nicely at home.
After being outshot badly in the first two games at Tampa Bay, the Red Wings were able to contain the high-scoring Lightning on Tuesday in a tightly contested matchup.
Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader returned from a hand injury and played for the first time since April 4. He assisted on Sheahan’s power-play goal in the third period.
The Red Wings opened the scoring with 11:14 left in the first when Tomas Tatar’s shot from the point appeared to deflect off Datsyuk’s right leg and past goalie Ben Bishop for the 36-year-old center’s 41st career playoff goal.
Tampa Bay’s power play had a great chance to tie it in the second when Glendening and Danny DeKeyser took penalties 64 seconds apart for Detroit, but Tyler Johnson – who scored twice in Game 2 – hit the crossbar during the 5-on-3 and a turnover by Steven Stamkos gave Drew Miller an easy clear during that extended penalty-killing situation.
The Red Wings didn’t allow many chances from in close, and Mrazek did a nice job controlling rebounds for the most part. There was an anxious moment for Detroit later in the second when Niklas Kronwall was called for hooking on a short-handed effort by Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn.
Mrazek stopped Killorn during the delayed penalty, and although the rebound eventually ended up in the net, the Red Wings had already touched the puck to stop play.
Sheahan’s first career playoff goal gave Detroit some insurance with 13:18 left in the third. After a quiet start to the power play, Abdelkader slid a nice pass to Sheahan, who was alone in front and stickhandled around Bishop.
The Lightning had one more good chance to start a rally when Brian Boyle skated in on a short-handed breakaway, but Mrazek stopped that. Cedric Paquette then tripped Mrazek to pick up a goaltender interference penalty – although Abdelkader came over to stand up for his goalie and was also called for a penalty during the ensuing hostilities near the boards.
Glendening scored into an empty net in the final minute for his second goal of the series.
NOTES: Datsyuk is one of three finalists for the Lady Byng Trophy, which goes to the NHL’s most gentlemanly player. Datsyuk won the award four consecutive years from 2006-2009. … Jason Garrison continues to skate with his team and could return for Game 4. … Red Wings D Brendan Smith was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the first two games of this series. He replaced Alexey Marchenko in the lineup.
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