Detroit Red Wings’ point streak ends in Toronto with 5-4 loss to Maple Leafs

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings got big performances out of their youngsters but ran out tricks as they tried to extend their point streak.

The young players were on display as the Wings took on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Halloween eve. The Wings pulled themselves back into the game — their third in four days against a foe that had been off for three days —three times after falling behind by two goals, but wound up losing, 5-4 Saturday at Scotiabank Arena.

The Wings (4-3-2) had been on a three-game point streak. Joe Veleno contributed two points in his first game of the season. Goalie Thomas Greiss mishandled the puck on Mitchell Marner’s goal, which became the winning marker when Filip Hronek scored off a setup by Lucas Raymond with 29 seconds to play.

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The Leafs’ third goal came in the opening minute of the third period, when John Tavares set up Alexander Kerfoot, who was left alone in front of Detroit’s net. Veleno earned the second goal of his NHL career when he wired a shot from the slot. Veleno scored his first last season when he appeared in five games after returning from playing in Sweden.

Tavares put the Leafs back up by a pair but Vladislav Namestnikov tapped in Veleno’s shot midway through the third period. Greiss’ attempt to play the puck behind his net led to Marner intercepting the puck and finding an empty net with 2:05 to play in the third period.

Young Frankenstein

Veleno tried to singlehandedly demolish the Leafs, scoring one goal and assisting on another. Veleno had a good exhibition season, but he was sent down because there wasn’t room among the Wings’ top nine forwards. His wait to rejoin the Wings ended Saturday, when his strong start with the Griffins (three goals in five games) earned him a call-up, replacing Adam Erne, who couldn’t play against the Leafs after painfully blocking a shot Friday night in Detroit. Tyler Bertuzzi was also out because his decision not to get vaccinated means he cannot cross the border under current restrictions. Robby Fabbri moved up to take Bertuzzi’s spot with Raymond and Dylan Larkin, and Veleno subbed onto the second line with Zadina and Pius Suter.

Trick and treat

During a man advantage in the second period, rookie defenseman Moritz Seider had the puck along the boards, just inside the blue line, when he spun around and aimed a pass at Lucas Raymond. Pierre Engvall intercepted the puck and raced up ice, but his shot hit a goal post. Seider amended for his lack of care on the same shift. Regaining control of the puck, Seider slipped a pass to Zadina, who collected it and fired a wrist shot that eluded former Wings goalie Petr Mrazek. Seider has assists in five straight games.

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Creepshow

The Leafs sent the Wings into both intermissions on a sour note. Defenseman Jake Muzzin fired a puck through traffic that snuck by Greiss with 14 seconds to go in the first period, giving Toronto its first lead. With 1:01 to go in the second period, Michael Rasmussen was called for slashing Jason Spezza, sending the Leafs on a power play. Spezza made the Wings pay when he got control of a bouncing puck in the low right circle and fired a shot which Michael Bunting redirected to put the Leafs back in the lead with 18 seconds before the second intermission.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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