Mrazek returns with Flyers to face Red Wings


The Detroit Red Wings will welcome an old friend back to town Tuesday when they face the Philadelphia Flyers.

Flyers goaltender Petr Mrazek was traded to Philadelphia by the Red Wings on Feb. 19, and Mrazek is proving to be the gift that keeps on giving.

Philadelphia's 6-3 win Sunday over the Washington Capitals was Mrazek's fifth in a Flyers uniform. That, coupled with a Philadelphia playoff appearance this spring, will bump the 2018 fourth-round draft pick the Red Wings got for Mrazek up to a third-round choice.

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"Petr is playing really well and I wish him all the best," Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said.

Mrazek was plagued by inconsistency with the Red Wings and that has continued to be an issue during his brief tenure with the Flyers. He won his first three starts for Philly and then went 0-3-1 in his next four decisions.

The win Sunday ended Mrazek's two-game skid. Mrazek was pulled from his previous start against the Columbus Blue Jackets after allowing four goals on 10 shots.

"I think Pete had lots of success on the way up to the NHL, being a competitor and his moxie and I think as the years here went along," said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, who also coahced Mrazek with Grand Rapids in the American Hockey League. "I think he realized he had to work at his technique and really work at making that better and I think he's made a concerted effort.

"It didn't always show, but I think over the last little bit it really started to come where his technique was starting to get himself to that spot."

The Flyers have won two in a row, ending a 1-6-1 skid. Captain Claude Giroux has points in nine of his last 10 games and 11-15-26 totals in the past 19 games.

Winger Wayne Simmonds scored twice in the victory over the Capitals. Philadelphia is 17-2-1 when Simmonds scores a goal.

Second-year center Travis Konecny has four points in the past four games, and rookie Oskar Lindblom netted his first NHL goal in the win over Washington.

"That's what winners are made of," Simmonds told "That's the type of effort we're going to need out of every single guy in this dressing room."

Nothing is going right for the Red Wings, who are winless in 10 games (0-9-1), the first time they've hit double digits without a victory since the 1981-82 season. Detroit is 0-8-1 in March, and the team hasn't gone an entire month without a win since November 1982 (0-8-5).

Blashill cited a Philadelphia source -- Eagles quarterback Nick Foles -- when assessing what his team is currently up against.

"Nick Foles talked about it after they won the Super Bowl, how much adversity he's had to fight through," Blashill told "You hope to come out stronger on the other side. That's what life's about.

"This isn't supposed to be easy. This is the National Hockey League. Sports isn't supposed to be easy, it's supposed to be hard. That's why it feels so good when you win. So we've got to find a way to keep fighting here."

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