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Wings hope Tatar can spark power play

Rookie has three points in last three games, including PPG

Tuesday, 02.19.2013 / 2:52 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - DetroitRedWings.com
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Wings hope Tatar can spark power play

Tomas Tatar
Center - DET
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 4
SOG: 16 | +/-: 0
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Red Wings’ lifeless power play needs a shot in the arm, and the hope is that speedy rookie Tomas Tatar can administer it against the Predators tonight.

Last Friday, Tatar played more than two-minutes on the power play, and he was rewarded with a goal – the Wings’ only power-play tally in the last three games.

“Our power play hasn’t been great for us and we’re always looking for ways to make it better,” coach Mike Babcock said following the team’s Tuesday morning skate at Bridgestone Arena. “We’ve had some guys with significant power-play time and have no power-play points. In the end you just can’t keep going with it.”

Babcock hopes the adjustment can lead to the Wings’ first road power-play goal of the season. Detroit is the only team in the league without a PP goal on the road. The Wings’ power play units are 0-for-26 away from Joe Louis Arena, registering just 31 shots in 46:53 of special teams ice-time on the road.

“He just generates offense,” Babcock said of Tatar, who has two goals and two assists in seven games since being call up from Grand Rapids.

Babcock likes when he sees in the 5-foot-10 Tatar, who had 19 goals and 20 assists with the Griffins.

“He’s got himself four points, got himself three points in the last five games,” Babcock added. “When I go and watch the opposition I always circle the guys that got three points or more in the last five games as a significant player. So that must mean if he’s doing it for us, he must be a significant player.”

Tatar played meaningful minutes on the Griffins’ power play this season, but usually on the wall or in the middle. However, in the last two Red Wings’ practices, he’s been adjusting to a new power-play role – as a net-front presence.

“It's kind of new thing for me,” Tatar said. “I'm not used to playing there, but I'm feeling pretty good around the net, so I just got to get used to it because I think this might be my role for my future with Red Wings. It's kind of nice to practice there.”

Tatar will likely start with the second power-play unit with forwards Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula, defenseman Ian White on the right point and either Jakub Kindl or Kyle Quincey on the left.

Tatar has the attributes that can help the power-play. He’s steady on the puck and is consistent on puck-retrieval, and he’s quicker than Babcock first thought.

“I don’t know how long it’s going to last,” said Babcock, of the Tatar experiment. “But as long as it lasts, we’ll keep riding it. Maybe he’s one of those guys that just decides that he wants to be a Red Wing (and) he’s going to take someone’s job.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80