Fresh off the heels of a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, could the Red Wings notch another against another top tier team in the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Dylan Larkin had two goals but the Red Wings coughed up a two goal lead in the third, falling to Toronto 7-4 after yielding five third period goals.
Larkin opened the scoring early, taking a pretty feed from Vlad Namestnikov and deking his way to his 21st goal of the season, giving Detroit a 1-0 lead. Alex Nedeljkovic did his part on the other end, making a flurry of great saves to keep Toronto scoreless for the majority of the first period. The Maple Leafs would notch one late when
But the Red Wings would open the second period with a couple rapid fire goals. The first coming from Vlad Namestnikov, who buried one off of a rebound and then just seconds later, Tyler Bertuzzi roofing a shot off of a Moritz Seider pass (and inspired rush) that suddenly saw Detroit up 3-1.
The Red Wings then pinned Toronto in their own end for nearly two minutes, and had one chance after another, with a few just whistling wide.
Toronto added one on a redirection by Michael Bunting, drawing the Leafs within a goal. Toronto then applied more pressure in the latter half of the period, but the Leafs took a penalty for too many men, and the Red Wings didn’t waste it as Larkin netted his second of the game on a one-time feed from Robby Fabbri. The period ended with a glorious chance for Namestnikov who was in all alone on former Red Wing Petr Mrazek but just shot wide. And then, Auston Matthews took exception to Seider and things got a bit chippy after the horn sounded.
Seider of course, was more than willing to oblige. The Red Wings headed into the second intermission with a 4-2 lead and the Leafs frustrated.
The third period saw the Red Wings and Leafs trading chances but it would be Toronto getting its third goal with 10:32 and Michael Bunting getting his second of the game off a redirection in the air.
But Bunting would strike again to get his hat trick and then it was Rasmus Sandin getting the go ahead goal with 2:51 remaining in the game. Mitch Marner added an empty net goal, and then John Tavares added one more to ice a 7-4 victory for Toronto.
Oh sure, it didn’t go the Wings way at the end there. Be it a talent deficit, or being tired from the game last night. But the positive was hanging with the Leafs and actually outplaying them for stretches. But the growing pains continue as Detroit falls to their rival.