Lucas Viveiros | The Avro Post
It wasn’t the convincing win the Leafs would have hoped for, but in the end the depth of their lineup was able to lead them to a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night.
Toronto got contributions from four different goal scorers on all four lines in the victory.
The Maple Leafs came out flying out of the gate, and in the first period looked like they were going to dominate the Red Wings throughout the course of the game.
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from winger Kasperi Kapanen (7), Toronto took their foot off the gas allowing Detroit to creep their way back into the game.
The Red Wings may not be the dynasty they once were, but they still are a hockey club that needs to be respected, as they most certainly won’t cheat when it comes to effort.
That effort snatched two goals which beat goaltender Fredrik Andersen in just over five minutes in the second period.
Young gun Dylan Larkin added one on a breakaway, splitting the Maple Leaf defense, and winger Tyler Bertuzzi scored on a deflection from a point shot.
But the Leafs would respond later in the second period, with a tip goal from Connor Brown (14), almost mimicking the exact goal Bertuzzi had scored earlier.
The score five minutes into the third period was 2-2, until another questionable goalie interference case in the NHL came to fruition.
Detroit centreman Frans Nielsen was able to put the puck into the back of the net from an unlikely angle, eluding Andersen, but the referee on the ice called the goal back for goaltender interference.
On the play, Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader skated in behind Andersen a few seconds prior to the goal, barely touching him, in turn causing some confusion as to if the goal should be awarded.
After the goal was disallowed by the officials, Detroit coach Jeff Blashill challenged the play, which was then reversed in a matter of seconds to give the Wings the 3-2 lead.
The Maple Leafs could have let this discourage them, but coach Babcock had his team humming after the call.
Over three minutes later star players Matthews and Nylander went to work. The two set up a give and go play to the right of the Red Wings net, resulting in a beautifully placed shot from Nylander, tying the game up at 3s (17).
Toronto would not lay down their and be satisfied with overtime.
With seven and a half minutes to play, Patrick Marleau turned back time, looking like he was 20 years old again, bursting down the right wing on a two on one and out-weighting the Red Wings defender, sliding a perfect pass across to Kadri who was able to bury the biscuit (29).
The seesaw game would end with the Maple Leafs 13th straight victory on home ice, 4-3.
As Nazem Kadri put it best post-game, “Resilient teams find a way.”
Toronto will host the Buffalo Sabres in the teams next game on Monday.
Game time is 7:00 p.m. from The Air Canada Centre and can be watched on TSN 4.
More news from the ice
- The Maple Leafs now sit with 97 points this season, surpassing last years total of 95
- The Leafs also tied their franchise record for most wins in a season with 45, and home wins in a season with 26
- Toronto continues to sit five points behind Boston for second place in the Atlantic Division
- With an assist on Kapanen’s goal, James Van Riemsdyk now has 11 points in his last six games
- Auston Matthews played in his first home game since February 22 against the Islanders
- Winger Leo Komarov continues skating with the team on his recovery from a knee injury
More coverage to follow. Image from Taiwan News.