Mrazek cruises to 1st NHL shutout in Wings’ win

Darren Helm was happy just being on the ice again. Scoring the

winning goal was a bonus.

Helm scored in his first game of the season, and just his third

since March 2012 due to various injuries, and the Detroit Red Wings

won their third straight game in four nights by beating the

Edmonton Oilers 5-0 on Saturday.

”It was the icing on top of the cake, really,” Helm said of

his goal. ”The relief came after the game, knowing that I could

still play. The goal was just a nice addition to that. I was really


”It was one of the nicest moments I have had in a while, since

this injury bug started. I was pretty nervous. I was pretty anxious

and eager to get out there.”

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was pleased to see Helm back on the

bench again.

”Helmer gives a huge dimension of talent that we can take

advantage of if he is healthy,” he said. ”He can be dominant. To

see him do what he did tonight, I thought he played very


Tomas Tatar, Jakub Kindl, Joakim Andersson and Todd Bertuzzi

scored for the Red Wings (9-4-2), who are 3-1-2 in their last six


Petr Mrazek needed to make only 14 saves to earn his first NHL

shutout in his third game.

”It’s a great moment for me right now,” the 21-year-old goalie

said. ”Sometimes seeing that few shots is harder than facing 30. I

really had to be focused on every shot that I had.”

Mrazek also impressed his coach.

”That’s good for him,” Babcock said. ”He’s a kid who, I told

someone the other day, he thinks he is here to take (Jimmy)

Howard’s job, not (Jonas) Gustavsson’s job.

”He’s just got that kind of attitude. He has won everywhere he

has been, and there is obviously something to it.”

The Oilers (3-10-2) lost their fifth straight before they head

out on a four-game trip. Edmonton has been shut out in its last two

home games and outscored 9-0.

”It’s tough, it was embarrassing,” Oilers defenseman Ladislav

Smid said. ”I have no words for it and there is no excuses for


”People talk about injuries and back luck and stuff and we

can’t talk about that anymore. We all have to wake up in here. I

don’t think there is one person that can be proud of what he did on

the ice.”

Detroit took a 2-0 lead on goals 27 seconds apart five minutes

into the game.

An Edmonton miscue allowed Daniel Cleary to send Helm in on a

breakaway, and Helm beat goalie Richard Bachman through the legs.

The goal came in Helm’s first game of the season as he returned

from a groin injury.

Less than 30 seconds later, Bachman allowed a big rebound on

Andersson’s shot, and Tatar pounced on it for his third of the


Bachman injured a groin lunging for a puck with six minutes to

play in the opening frame and had to be helped off the ice. Jason

LaBarbera replaced him in the Edmonton net.

Detroit made it 3-0 seven minutes into the second period when

Daniel Alfredsson dished the puck to Kindl at the top of the right

circle for a hard shot that blew past LaBarbera.

The Red Wings outshot the Oilers 21-10 through the first 40


Detroit went up by four goals eight minutes into the third. A

wraparound attempt popped free in front of the net, and Andersson

score his second of the season.

Two minutes later it was 5-0 as Henrik Zetterberg hooked behind

the net on the power play and fed the puck to Bertuzzi at the back

door. Bertuzzi’s 21 career goals against Edmonton are the most he

has scored against a team.

”It’s frustrating, there is not much else to be said,” Oilers

center Sam Gagner said. ”Our compete level wasn’t high enough and

we weren’t sharp to start the game.”

The Red Wings will wrap up a four-game Western Canada swing in

Winnipeg on Monday. Edmonton will begin a four-game trip in Florida

against the Panthers on Tuesday.

NOTES: The game was the first of two meetings between the teams

this season. Detroit won all three meetings last season, when both

clubs were in the Western Conference, and is 7-0-5 in its last 12

visits to Edmonton. … With Gustavsson out with a neck injury, the

21-year-old Mrazek got the third start of his NHL career. Howard

had the night off after playing Friday at Calgary. … Edmonton D

Justin Schultz was out with a groin injury and forward David Perron

missed his second game with a neck injury. D Philip Larsen made his

Oilers debut, and F Ryan Hamilton returned for the first time since

sustaining a knee injury on Oct. 7. … Red Wings forward Johan

Franzen (illness) left Friday’s game at Calgary and sat out against

the Oilers.