Mazanec makes Trotz's hunch pay with wins, including a shutout

Barry Trotz said his plan was no plan at all.

The Nashville Predators coach decided his starting goalie would be a day-to-day proposition for the duration of Pekka Rinne’s absence. Saturday, he stuck with rookie Marek Mazanec despite the fact that he allowed seven goals in the previous two games – both losses, one in which he was pulled after the second period.

“We had to make a decision [Saturday] and we just didn’t play well in front of Maz for a couple games,” Trotz said Saturday. “He’s made some pretty good saves for us. … We didn’t give him any [goal] support and I just thought he would respond to it really well.”

Did he ever.

Mazanec made 39 saves (the most by a Nashville goalie this season) Saturday in a 7-2 victory over Chicago. Tuesday he stopped all 27 shots he faced in a 2-0 victory over Detroit, including a team-high four by Red Wings’ center Pavel Datsyuk whose 68 career points against Nashville (in 61 games) are the most by any opposing player.

The sixth-round pick in 2012 is now the seventh goalie in franchise history and third Nashville draft pick to register a shutout.

PREDATORS SHUTOUTS

Pekka Rinne 30
Tomas Vokoun 21
Chris Mason 12
Dan Ellis 10
Mike Dunham 8
Anders Lindback 2
Marek Mazaec 1
Shared (Vokoun/Mason) 1

At the start of play Tuesday, Nashville was one of nine NHL teams that had yet to hold an opponent scoreless.