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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  - Managing Editor | 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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89