Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Maple Leafs quick take: Wings earn a hard-fought win over the Leafs

The Detroit Red Wings tried to end their long stretch of home games at Little Caesars Arena with a rare home-ice win, taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six showdown.

Remarkably given the Wings' record of late, Detroit rallied from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Maple Leafs 3-1, playing good hockey from stem to stern, but especially playing strongly in the 2nd and 3rd periods as Trevor Daley, Danny DeKeyser and Tomas Tatar scored shorthanded, even-strength and power-play goals, respectively, Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots and all four lines and six defensemen were solid to very good.

The Wings played the kind of full-team game that they needed to win, "A game, period," and now the Wings will go on the road for 3 pre-Christmas tilts looking far better than they did after Wednesday's OT loss.

In terms of the teams' respective lineups, Toronto's lineup was in some flux as they didn't hold a morning skate--and changed up their lines during the course of last night's 2-0 loss to Minnesota.

TorontoMapleLeafs.com's Paul Hendrick offered the Leafs' pre-game lines:

The Red Wings' lineup was assumed to be the same that they've utilized over the vast majority of their 1-5-and-5 streak, and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji confirmed the lines would be the same, save one little tweak:

The Red Wings started Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Tomas Tatar at forward, Danny DeKeyser and Mike Green on defense and Jimmy Howard in goal;

The Maple Leafs started Zach Hyman, Patrick Marleau and Mitchell Marner at forward, Ron Hainsey and Morgan Rielly on defense and Curtis McIlhinney in goal.

Francois St. Laurent and Chris Rooney refereed the game, with Derek Amell and Devin Berg working the lines.

The 1st period

1st period observations:

  • I was expecting the Maple Leafs' fans to out-number Red Wings fans, at least in the lower bowl. I was not disappointed.
  • Larkin drew in for the opening faceoff opposite Marleau, and Marleau won the faceoff and chipped the puck into the Wings' zone, with Larkin coming back to facilitate a Mantha rush through center and a pass to Tatar that was blocked. Hyman skated into the Wings' zone but was stopped and Detroit skated to the Leafs' line and changed.
  • Helm, Nielsen and Glendening dumped and chased vs. McIlhinney, and Nielsen forced a turnover that Trevor Daley could not hold in the offensive zone. So Toronto's Kadri line got to work against the Wings, and Detroit chipped the puck out to center and changed 1:10 into the 1st.
  • Toronto re-set behind their goal line and Detroit was able to swipe the puck as Nyquist stickhandled, deked and fired a hard shot on McIlhinney's shoulder 1:30 into the 1st;
  • Detroit had to regroup, and a Nick Jensen turnover at the Wings' blueline yielded a Leaf shot on Howard, who gloved the puck and held it for a faceoff at 1:54.

The Maple Leafs won the faceoff from Athanasiou, and Anders Boergman's point shot went through a screen, off Witkowski and past Howard's blocker at 1:58.

Borgman scored the 1-0 goal at 1:58 from Dominic Moore and Matt Martin.

  • Athanasiou's line remained out with Frk and Witkowski at forward for another 20 seconds, and Detroit swapped out the Larkin line, which threatened offensively and did a good job of generating a scoring chance via a lateral Larkin attempt that slid behind McIlhinney but wide of the net via a Green slapper.
  • Detroit re-set in its own zone, beating Toronto to an icing (Mantha made a nice play there), and Ericsson of all people skated up into the Leafs' zone and got a good shot off on McIlhinney as well.
  • Toronto went offside 3:38 into the 1st, and Detroit lost the draw, giving Morgan Rielly a point shot 4:01 into the 1st. Howard stopped the along-the-goal-line lateral attempt, and when Athanasiou's line lost its faceoff, Howard stopped another shot.
  • Witkowski played at forward for his first couple of shifts, giving the defense some continuity.
  • Larkin's line had a really epic battle with Hyman and Marleau's line, surrendering a chance and then facilitating a Mantha-to-Ericsson pass that gave Detroit a good scoring chance.
  • The teams played fairly evenly over the first 6 minutes of play, but Detroit was surrendering easy faceoff wins and easy shots to Toronto.
  • At 6:01, the first TV timeout, Detroit trailed in shots 4-3 but led in attempts 6-4; hits were 1-1, giveaways 3-2 Toronto, takeaways 3-0 Detroit, blocked shots 0-0, faceoffs 4-3 Detroit (57%).
  • Detroit won the post-TV timeout faceoff but had to battle 3 forechecking Leafs to clear the puck out of trouble.
  • Green fumbled a puck at center and Zetterberg had to come back on a 2-on-1, and Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Nyquist skated into Toronto's zone, Zetterberg fumbled a pass, and Moore, Martin and Kapanen got a shot off and Martin hammered Frk. Only a hand pass stopped the Leafs' forecheck.
  • Toronto was winning faceoffs on a regular basis, and as a result, Howard had to stop Hyman...
  • And going the other way, Mantha was called offside on a breakaway that he was not offside on.
  • Zaitsev worked the puck into Detroit's zone, and as Komarov and Kadri went toward the Wings' net...

Trevor Daley performed a "can opener" on Kadri, yielding a penalty for interference at 8:03.

  • Toronto ended up having to defend Glendening and Larkin on a shorthanded rush, in which the shot went wide, and Jensen and DeKeyser then got some help from Helm and Larkin, who skated up and Helm roared into the Leafs' zone, slid the puck back to Larkin, and he fumbled the pass...
  • Marleau charged up the other way and slid a puck just wide of Howard, the Leafs set up, fired a point shot wide, and Abdelkader, Nielsen, Kronwall and Ericsson worked the 2nd PK unit, with Glendening replacing Abdelkader and poking a puck away at the blueline.
  • Detroit killed the penalty, and did so with authority.
  • Nyquist was on a bit of a tear, and he worked well with Zetterberg, who found Frk for a one-timer that was fanned upon...Yielding another Ericsson shot attempt from the point.
  • Howard coughed up the puck playing it around the boards, and Howard was bumped by Bozak, who then backed away and sent a shot in on Howard. He made a smart stop, and the Larkin line chipped and Mantah chased, winning the puck to Tatar.
  • Tatar set up down low, worked the puck to Green, and Green's shot was stopped.
  • Glendening, Nielsen and Helm cycled fairly well in the offensive zone, facilitating a Jensen shot some 12:35 into the 1st, and Helm, like Nyquist, was playing excellently.
  • At 13:01, another TV timeout hit, and the shots were 10-4 Toronto; shot attempts were 17-10 Toronto; hits 3-3; giveaways 5-5; takeaways 4-0 Detroit; blocked shots 3-2 Detroit; faceoffs 6-5 Toronto (45%) for Detroit.
  • Toronto's shot total wasn't inflated, but the Leafs weren't generating a lot of quality scoring chances.

James van Riemsdyk got tagged for interference at 13:08 of the 1st period.

  • Zetterberg, Abdelkader, Nyquist, Tatar and Kronwall began the PP together. They lost the opening faceoff, Kronwall set up and actually passed the puck forward to Tatar, Zetterberg set over and the Wings worked the perimeter, Zetterberg found Nyquist, who fanned on a shot, Nyquist and Kronwall worked the puck to Zetterberg, Kronwall overskated the puck and Detroit had to re-set.
  • Zetterberg found Nyquist, he reversed the puck to Zetterberg, he reversed the puck to Tatar, and the Wings played "make Kronwall shoot."
  • Tatar fired a puck on net, slid it back to Zetterberg, he forced Tatar to make a pass, Tatar found Abdelkader and he flubbed the puck.
  • With 25 seconds remaining in the power play, Detroit brought the Larkin unit out, and Larkin skated all the way into the Toronto zone before dropping the puck to Mantha. He found Larkin, Larkin found Mantha, and he was stick checked, ending the power play.
  • Detroit got 1 shot on the power play.
  • Toronto skated into the Wings' zone and Marleau took a big shot and Marner had a wide-open net but was stifled by Nielsen's superb backcheck.
  • Blashill engaged the line blender as he put Larkin, Helm and Frk over the boards together, and they let Dominic Moore and company cycle into the Wings' zone, Howard got ran over by Martin, and Toronto was called offside as Martin tried to get Ericsson to fight.
  • At 16:51, Detroit was out-shot 11-5 nd out-attempted 18-12; hits were 4-3 Detroit, giveaways 5-5, takeaways 4-1 Detroit, blocked shots 3-2 Detroit, faceoffs 7-6 Toronto (46%).
  • When play resumed, Athanasiou, Frk and Tatar made a mess of a one offensive rush, and when Tatar and Athanasiou skated the other way against a Leafs team that cheated toward the Wings' blueline, AA set up Tatar for a fine shot that was stopped by McIlhinney.
  • Zetterberg's line had a rough go against Kadri, Komarov and Nylander, who cycled in the Wings' zone, worked the puck to the blueline, and swiped the puck from Ericsson, who forced Howard to stop Nylander.
  • As the period wound down, the Leafs were starting to dominate possession and control in the Wings' zone, but Detroit was at least able to chip and chase when Larkin's line was on the ice.
  • Helm did a good job of sweeping the puck toward McIlhinney on a wraparound as well...
  • And Hainsey banged a shot wide of Howard as the period ended.
  •  

The 1st period in summary: The Wings played slightly sleepy hockey at times throughout the first period, and that was frustrating to watch. Detroit surrendered the first goal early, on a deflection, and they were scrambly, negating some fine play by Helm and Nyquist, as well as the Larkin line, because the Wings didn't seem to have the necessary puck support to do much more than hang in there, especially after the Leafs' power play.

Statistically, Detroit was out-shot 12-7 and out-attempted 20-15; Detroit out-hit Toronto 6-4; giveaways were 6-5 Detroit, takeaways 4-2 Detroit (possession changes 10-7 Detroit); blocked shots 3-2 Detroit, faceoffs 8-7 Toronto (47%).

Individually, Tatar and Green co-led the Wings with 2 shots; Nyquist, Glendening and Helm had 1 shot. Detroit's six giveaways were from Jensen, Tatar, Ericsson, Kronwall and Larkin; Larkin also had 2 takeaways, and Green and Frk had 1 takeaway; Nyquist, Mantha and Nielsen of all people blocked 1 shot apiece; Glendening and Athanasiou (2-and-1, or 67%) paced the Wings in faceoff wins; the Wings were -5 as a team, and DeKeyser led the Wings with 8:00 in ice time; Green played 7:12, Larkin 7:08, Ericsson 6:37, Tatar 6:35, Nyquist 6:14, Mantha 6:05, Zetterberg 6:03.

FSD had the scoring chances at 5-3 on the Leafs' 12-7 shot advantage.

The 2nd period began with the teams at even strength.

2nd period observations:

  • Larkin drew in for the 2nd period's first faceoff opposite Patrick Marleau, and Larkin won the draw all the way back to Howard. Green and DeKeyser worked the puck to center, and the puck was dumped into the crowd by Athanasiou, who got a rare shift with Larkin and Mantha.
  • Larkin cycled into the Leafs' zone and dropped the puck to Green, who had to re-set in the Wings' zone, and Detroit got hemmed in its own zone for a couple of minutes.
  • When Nielsen raced into Toronto's zone, he nearly put a puck off the goalpost and McIlhinney, who was aware of the play;
  • Toronto then headed into Detroit's zone, and Kadri, Komarov and Kapanen were unable to score, and Trevor Daley raced the other way with Helm and Glendening, and fired a shot wide;
  • Detroit changed lines again, with Zetterberg's unit taking to the ice, and Jensen and Kronwall eventually worked the puck into the Leafs' zone, albeit briefly;
  • Brown, Bozak and van Riemsdyk worked the puck into the Wings' zone, Howard had to make a save, and Abdelkader was forced to ice the puck as Nyquist was hit heavily by Polak.
  • Nielsen, Abdelkader and Nyquist lost the defensive zone faceoff again and Toronto was at least forced out to center ice just under 3 minutes into the 2nd period.
  • When Toronto dumped a puck into Detroit's zone, Daley worked the puck up into Tatar, Frk and Larkin, but the trio was offside.
  • Larkin and Marleau remained matched up, but as Ken Daniels noted, Athanasiou was on the line, and that line was at least able to enter the Leafs' zone and keep the puck there.
  • The rest of the Wings were struggling to keep Toronto from dumping and chasing into the Wings' zone.
  • 4:33 into the 2nd, Detroit had been out-shot 13-8.
  • Glendening, Nielsen and Helm worked together with Ericsson and Daley to generate a shot on McIlhinney and some hits on the Leafs' Kadri line, but they then surrendered a rush to Kadri that Howard had to stop with his right shoulder.
  • Zetterberg, Frk and Tatar played a shift together, and Zetterberg gave the puck to DeKeyser...

DeKeyser got the puck back from Zetterberg, making a rare offensive zone rush, and DeKeyser got around Polak and chipped the puck over Curtis McIlhinney to tie the game at 1.

DeKeyser made it 1-1 @ 5:22 from Zetterberg and Frk.

  • It was a weird goal, but weird goals count.

Dylan Larkin went down due to a high stick that the refs missed, so they called Matt Martin for interference instead, at 5:58.

  • Zetterberg, Nyquist, Abdelkader, Kronwall and Tatar set up, Abdelkader found Zetterberg, he passed up a shot to pass to Nyquist, the puck bounced, Kronwall set up, Kronwall shot the puck and it was cleared by Toronto.
  • Larkin returned to the ice and raced into the Leafs' zone, and he was tied up by Hainsey as hs tried to shoot on McIlhinney, at least forcing an offensive zone draw.
  • Larkin won it, found Green, who gave it back, and Larkin blasted a heavy shot on McIlhinney.
  • Green, Athanasiou, Larkin, Mantha and Frk worked together, Mantha found Frk and he missed the puck, and Connor Brown was able to skate away from the pack, but Larkin negated a breakaway.
  • Athanasiou got a good shot off before the power play expired as well.
  • Darren Helm got cross-checked from behind after the power play expired, and the Leafs skated away, with Martin, who cross-checked Helm, generating a scoring chance on Howard. Howard made a big stop.
  • At 7:22, Detroit out-shot Toronto 5-3 in the 2nd. Shots were 15-12 Toronto overall; attempts 26-24 Toronto; hits 11-9 Detroit, giveaways 7-6 Detroit, takeaways 4-4, blocked shots 6-4 Detroit, faceoffs 13-12 Toronto (48%).
  • As play resumed, Glendening, Nielsen and Helm worked the puck out of the Wings' zone, Green got walked around, and Howard made a big stop in the Wings' zone.
  • Green then dumped the puck into Toronto's end so that the Wings could start a line change, and Nyquist got kneed by Borgman. No call.
  • Ericsson was doing a good job of generating shot attempts...which was weird.
  • Nyquist cycled down low and found Abdelkader for a heavy shot on McIlhinney;
  • Zetterberg continued the cycle and found Daley, who couldn't handle the pass, and Detroit continued to cycle;
  • Zetterberg and Daley worked the puck to each other, Daley dumped the puck behind the net, Abdelkader and Nyquist were sealed, and Witkowski of all people found Zetterberg, he flubbed the puck, but Ericsson took the puck away.
  • Toronto was able to set up as Witkowski and Kronwall got walked around by van Riemsdyk and Brown, and as a result, Kronwall hooked JVR into Howard...

So Kronwall went off at 10:25 for hooking.

  • At 10:25, Detroit was out-shooting Toronto 6-4 in the 2nd but was out-shot 16-13 overall; attempts were 28-28; hits 11-11; giveaways 7-7; takeaways 4-4; blocked shots 6-4 Detroit; faceoffs 13-13 (50%).
  • Detroit started the PK with Larkin, Glendening, Ericsson and Daley. The Wings won the draw to Daley and he blasted the puck down the ice, and Larkin and Glendening did an OK job of pushing the Leafs back for a moment.
  • Toronto set up in Detroit's zone and fired a shot just wide of Howard, Glendening cleared the puck, and Toronto came back into the zone, with Kadri getting a shot on Howard that was blockered away.
  • Daley of all people set up with Dylan Larkin...

Daley got the pass from Ericsson, skated up with Larkin, and as the Leaf defenseman closed off Larkin as a passing option, Daley fired the puck through McIlhinney to give the Wings a 2-1 lead.

Daley scored shorthanded from Ericsson and Glendening at 11:22.

  • Detroit did a good job killing the balance of the penalty, and killed it off.
  • Athanasiou, Abdelkader and Helm played the post-PK shift, and did well together.
  • Athanasiou, Larkin and Kronwall set up on a 3-on-2 and it completely failed, but Larkin still found Tatar, he shot, and McIlhinney had to stop a sneaky Zetterberg shot. Daley found Larkin, he shot wide, and Martin found Kapanen in front, and Kapanen chipped the puck behind Howard, but he missed the net going for Martin.
  • Mantha, Nyquist and Nielsen played a shift together as the line blender was engaged, and they surrendered a shot against and Mantha nearly set up Nyquist for a goal, but he missed the pass.
  • At 14:13, Deroit was out-shooting Toronto 10-4 in the 2nd and 17-16 overall;
  • Toronto raced into the Wings' zone and forced Howard to make a save off the post-TV timeout rush...
  • And Ron Hainsey fired the puck into the crowd, but it went off a Wing first.
  • Thus came a draw at the Leafs' line, which the Wings lost.
  • Toronto was doing a lot of chipping and not chasing, and that was resulting in some icing calls against Toronto. Zetterberg drew in vs. Marleau and won the draw to Green, who fired a smart shot on McIlhinney. The Leafs' goalie made a good stop and Detroit re-set in its own zone, ground the puck up the ice, and Detroit began to change, with Jensen flubbing a clearing attempt that Kronwall mopped up.
  • With 4 minutes remaining in the 2nd, Larkin, Nyquist and Frk worked together, with Kronwall and Witkowski on defense, and they generated a shot attempt by Larkin that went wide and protestations from Toronto when Jonathan Ericsson would not simply step out of James van Riemsdyk's way. So Toronto iced the puck.
  • Detroit was forcing line changes a little quickly, and both Nielsen and Zetterberg's lines had some rough go's, with Abdelkader generating a shot.
  • At 18:25 of the 2nd, Detroit was out-shooting Toronto 13-4 in the 2nd period.
  • Mantha, Athanasiou and Larkin nearly gave up a goal against to Hyman and Marleau, but Larkin was able to block a couple of Leafs passes down low, allowing Detroit to survive the shift.
  • Toronto cycled in the Wings' zone as the period wound down, and Howard made a huge stop on Brown and a snow angel to stop play as Bozak and Zaitsev skated in to jab the puck.
  • The final faceoff was won by the Leafs, and Reilly fired a shot off Howard. It rolled wide of the net, and that was the 2nd period.

The 2nd period in summary: Detroit certainly woke up in the 2nd, ultimately out-shooting Toronto 13-5, and the Wings were able to score a pair of goals from unconventional sources via some smart pinches from DeKeyser and then Daley (shorthanded). The Wings were getting good goaltending from Howard at the other end of the ice, and their PK was sound, too.

Statistically, Detroit out-shot Toronto 13-5 in the 2nd and 20-17 overall. Detroit out-attempted Toronto 36-33; Detroit out-hit Toronto 16-14; giveaways were 11-8 Detroit, takeaways 5-4 Toronto (possession changes 16-12 Toronto); blocked shots 7-6 Detroit, faceoffs 19-18 Toronto (49%).

Individually, Tatar led the Wings with 4 shots, Green had 3, and Abdelkader, Larkin and Daley had 2 shots; Larkin led the Wings with 6 attempts; Glendening and Helm led the Wings with 3 hits, and Green, Zetterberg and Frk had 2 hits; Larkin had an ugly 4 giveaways and 2 takeaways; Mantha and Nielsen blocked 2 shots, Jensen, Nyquist and Daley 1; Glendening's 4-and-1 (80%) faceoff record led the team; Detroit was +4; Larkin played 15:38, DeKeyser 15:30, Green 14:07, Daley 13:27, Ericsson 13:10, Zetterberg 12:20, Mantha 12:07.

FSD had the scoring chances at 8-8 on the Wings' 20-17 shot advantage.

The 3rd period began with both teams at even strength.

3rd period observations:

  • Marleau and Larkin drew in for the opening faceoff for the third time, and Larkin won the draw back to Green, who found DeKeyser, and DeKeyser dumped the puck into the Leafs' zone. Larkin and Tatar tried to set up a passing play but they were unable to do so, and Toronto charged into the Wings' zone.
  • Toronto was separated from the puck, and Larkin raced the other way and clanged a puck off the goalpost behind McIlhinney as the Wings changed.
  • Ericsson committed a turnover that resulted in a big point shot that Howard had to stop, and the Wings charged up the other way, with Nielsen's line shoveling the puck to Daley, who fired a hard shot on McIlhinney.
  • The Wings changed again 1:30 into the 3rd, with Zetterberg's line taking the ice with Jensen and Kronwall, and Jensen and Kronwall ahd to mop up some issues in the defensive zone before setting up Nyquist for a quick little rush.
  • Toronto set up in the Wings' zone...
  • And as Abdelkader hit Morgan Reilly, Roman Polak went after Abdelkader, and was dehelmeted.
  • Detroit changed lines again, with Mantha, Frk and Glendening working together, and they got boxed in against Moore, Martin and Kapanen, with Detroit blocking one and then two shots before dumping and changing.
  • 3:28 into the 3rd, Toronto iced the puck, and Larin, Athanasiou and Tatar lost the deep offensive zone faceoff, but Mike Green raced up ice and was stopped by McIlhinney...
  • And Andreas Athanasiou hit BOTH GOALPOSTS BUT DID NOT SCORE at 4:02.
  • Detroit thus iced the puck, and the Wings lost the draw and watched a puck trickle wide of Howard through Green's legs.
  • Tatar, Larkin and Athanasiou charged up ice, AA tried to return the puck to Larkin instead of shooting, and Detroit cycled decently, but wasn't able to get a shot attempt off as they changed to Glendening, Nielsen and Helm, who worked with Ericsson and Daley on the cycle.
  • Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Nyquist watched Kapanen charge into the Wings' zone and fire two shots into Howard, and Zaitsev got a third shot near Howard, Moore swiped the puck from Jensen, and Detroit struggled to clear the puck.
  • Abdelkader almost set up Nyquist for a breakaway, but Abdelkader was stifled by a linesman...
  • At 6:57, Detroit and Toronto were tied 3-3 in shots in the 3rd, so Detroit led 23-20 overall. Attempts were 42-39 Detroit; hits 18-15 Detroit; giveaways 12-9 Detroit, takeaways 5-4 Detroit; blocked shots 8-6 Detroit; faceoffs 22-19 Detroit (54%).
  • When play resumed, Mantha, Larkin and Frk worked together to win an offensive zone faceoff, but Toronto swiped possession, skated up ice and got a long shot on Howard.
  • Nielsen's line took to the ice and chased a puck iced by Luke Witkowski, lost a defensive zone draw, and watched Howard make a stop before getting the puck out of the Wings' zone.
  • Off a partial change, Athanasiou raced up with Helm and Helm fired the puck wide;
  • Toronto skated the other way and went offside;
  • Athanasiou then worked with Larkin and Tatar, and as they tried to forecheck, Bozak grabbed Larkin.

Bozak was called for interference at 8:06. Larkin got hit in the head.

  • Roman Polak chose to run Athanasiou off the Wings' offensive zone faceoff win, and the Larkin unit had to re-set at center and skate into the Leafs' zone again...
  • And they coughed up the puck and afforded Toronto an easy clear.
  • Green and Athanasiou worked the puck up to Mantha, he found Larkin, Detroit worked the perimeter, and Larkin's pass for Green yielded a shorthanded Connor Brown pass to Moore that Howard had to stop.
  • Athanasiou skated up the other way and was blocked off.
  • The Wings changed with 40 seconds remaining in the PP, and Zetterberg roared up the left wing...

Zetterberg faked a shot as he charged up the left wing, and he slid the puck across to Tomas Tatar, who backhanded the puck into the net.

Tomas Tatar made it 3-3 at 9:39, on the power play, from Zetterberg and Kronwall.

  • On the post-goal shift, Helm, Nielsen and Glendening got a shot on McIlhinney.
  • Detroit batted the puck out of play at 10:05 and a TV timeout hit.
  • At 10:05, Detroit out-shot Toronto 6-3 in the 3rd period and 26-20 on the night; attempts 46-42 Detroit; hits 18-15 Detroit; giveaways 12-10 Detroit; takeaways 5-5; blocked shots 9-6 Detroit; faceoffs 26-23 (53%) Detroit.
  • As play resumed, Detroit's Nielsen line mucked the puck out of the defensive zone and out of trouble, and they did so again, with Nielsen battling 4 Leafs to afford Detroit a line change.
  • Zetterberg's line surrendered a 2-on-1 in which DeKeyser and Green "saved a goal" by checking Connor Brown and Bozak legally.
  • Bozak and Brown were buzzing along with van Riemsdyk, and Howard had to make a gigantic stop off a Bozak deflection in front.
  • Toronto nearly scored off the offensive zone draw, but their near-misses resulted in some Red Wings pressure, and as the Leafs bore down on Detroit, the Wings would not surrender the puck easily.
  • Instead, Frk, Zetterberg and Mantha worked a decent job of cycling the puck.

According to Mickey Redmond, the NHL looked at the ice at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday, and the ice remained poor, chippy.

  • Athanasiou broke away from the Marleau line and sent a puck wide on the backhand...

But going the other way, Danny DeKeyser was tagged for grabbing Tyler Bozak, and the Wings went to the penalty box and penalty kill at 14:10 (with 5:50 remaining in the 3rd).

  • Glendening, Larkin, Ericsson and Daley started the PK and lost the opening draw, but Ericsson hammered the puck down ice off a wide Leaf attempt, and when Toronto re-entered the Wings' zone, Daley cleared the puck as well.
  • With 1:30 remaining in the PK, Helm and Kronwall joined Daley and Larkin, and Larkin happened to hack the puck to helm, who whiffed a wide shot away from McIlhinney, squandering a tremendous chance.
  • Frans Nielsen tried to set up a 2-on-1 as well, but he was blocked off by Gardiner.
  • Toronto set up in the Wings' zone and Nylander blasted a heavy shot wide, Komarov set up in front of Howard, Brown was blocked off, Nielsen found Glendening and the Wings killed the penalty.
  • Abdelkader, Zetterberg and Nyquist worked together, Nyquist stole the puck but skated through the crease with the puck, going wide of McIlhinney.
  • Toronto charged into the Wings' zone, re-set at center, and Hainsey walked through the Wings' defense, but Kronwall tapped his stick at the last second.

The Leafs pulled McIlhinney with 2:50 remaining...

  • And Toronto did nothing but saunter up ice, sending a lazy shot into Howard with 2:25 left. The Leafs were all hustle and no bustle.
  • Nielsen, Helm, Glendening, Ericsson and Daley lost their defensive zone draw, Toronto cycled through the perimeter, Ericsson cleared the puck and iced it.
  • Helm lost the defensive zone draw and Toronto cycled through the perimeter, working an umbrella formation.
  • Bozak fired a shot off Howard's blocker, another shot was tipped off van Riemsdyk but stopped by Howard, Daley and Ericsson mucked the puck around and Toronto got a point shot that was blocked by Glendening.
  • Howard batted the puck to Glendening, he could not clear, and Daley got hacked frm behind but ground the puck out down low, kicking and smacking until Nielsen and Helm could clear the puck...
  • But Helm iced the puck with 44.7 remaining.
  • No timeout on a defensive zone icing = Helm negating an icing and he was hooked sweeping for an empty net.

Ron Hainsey hooked Helm trying to prevent Helm from scoring, and Detroit headed to the PP at 19:23.

  • Larkin, Zetterberg, Abdelakder, Green and DeKeyser set up on the PP, worked the cycle off a faceoff win, Green and DeKeyser played catch, and Green got a good shot on McIlhinney as the game ended.

The 3rd period in summary: The Red Wings should earn some decent praise for having battled their way to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The WIngs put the pedal down in the 2nd period and held it to the floor, out-shooting Toronto 21-14 over the final two periods and finally displaying some moxie and jam as they scored 3 unanswered goals, giving themselves a 2-goal lead to work with when Tatar scored a rare power play marker halfway through the third. Howard was strong all night long, the Wings got good performances up and down the lineup, and Detroit beat a Leafs team that was on a 5-game winning streak against the Wings. Good job.

Statistics:

Here's the Game Summary...

And the Event Summary

Final shot attempts were 59-52 Toronto.

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Comments

ilovehomers's avatar

can’t say that Howie was tested too much, but only one goal against.

The vet PP scored…again.

Our match line was out there at the end. A few icings - and the last one was dumb by helm. BUT… even through the long shift and icings…he negated the last icing and drew a penalty. So positive marks on that.

Where DDK and Daley have been keeping those shots all season…i just dont know.

Posted by ilovehomers on 12/15/17 at 10:19 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Jensen, who was our “why did Kenny even waive him in the first place?!” Example from last year, is not getting very much ice at all recently.

Posted by ilovehomers on 12/15/17 at 10:22 PM ET

Avatar

Good win!

Posted by VPalmer on 12/15/17 at 10:23 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

I was at the game. An enjoyable win for a change. smile

Posted by bigfrog on 12/15/17 at 11:54 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Feeling cynical tonight. A win in December against an original 6 rival.  Who cares? Not gonna make playoffs and if they are lucky enough to make playoffs they’ll bounce early. What’s the point?

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 12/16/17 at 03:07 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Those goals by Daley and DDK remind me why our goal differential for the season is so bad. Because those are the types of goals or defense should be scoring every few games. But they haven’t all season.

Posted by TreKronor on 12/16/17 at 09:10 AM ET

damndog's avatar

^^^^^^
Not sticking up for the Wings defense but it does helps them out when the forwards have a consistent forecheck and keep cycling the puck down low. It let’s the D be on their toes and going forward instead of being on their heels.

Posted by damndog from The Eastside of Detroit on 12/16/17 at 11:22 AM ET

PierreC's avatar

Larkin logged over 23 minutes !

This is probably a personnal record…

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 12/16/17 at 04:14 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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