Leafs take over, topple Red Wings 4-2

Detroit News

Detroit – There’s little doubt the Toronto Maple Leafs have some world class offensive players, and they certainly showed it Monday against the Red Wings.

Many of the Leafs’ stars got on the scoresheet as Toronto rolled to a 4-2 victory over the Red Wings.

The loss ended the Wings’ four-game winning streak, while Toronto (14-5-5) has won four straight.

Moritz Seider opened the scoring with his second goal, 4 minutes, 45 seconds into the game, but the Leafs roared back with four unanswered goals.

Adam Erne cut the Leafs lead to 4-2 at 12:41 of the third period with his third goal, deflecting Seider’s shot past goaltender Matt Murray.

Auston Matthews (11th goal), William Nylander (13th, on the power play), Mitch Marner (seventh goal, extending his consecutive point streak to 17 games), and Rasmus Sandin had Leafs goals while Murray made 41 saves.

Goaltender Ville Husso (nine saves on 13 shots) started but was replaced after Sandin’s goal on a long drive from the top of the circle made it 4-1. Alex Nedeljkovic replaced Husso and stopped all 12 shots faced while seeing his first game action since Nov. 12.

The Red Wings debuted a new look against the Maple Leafs as they continue their season-long, five-game homestand.

The Wings debuted their Adidas Reverse Retro jerseys, the first of six games they will wear them this season, but they certainly didn’t bring them any good fortune.

If this was a measuring stick, the Wings looked a bit overmatched against one of the NHL powerhouses.

“It’s a good test in that they’re an elite team,” Wings coach Derek Lalonde said of the Leafs. “Obviously the record is starting to play itself out. It’s actually very impressive what they’ve done. They’re going through on their back end (three of the Leafs’ six defensemen are injured) what we went through front end with six of our top eight forwards out (earlier this season).

“It’s impressive what they’ve done with who (Morgan Rielly, TJ Brodie, Jake Muzzin) they have out.”

Matthews tied the score for Toronto with a blast from the high slot, off the rush, after getting a pass from Michael Bunting at 8:24 of the first period.

The goal from Matthews, who scored 60 last season and was the NHL’s most valuable player, appeared to ignite the Leafs.

David Perron’s high sticking penalty 11 seconds later quickly put the Leafs on the power play.

It didn’t take long for Toronto to convert, as Nylander pounced on a rebound of Sandin’s shot and tapped a shot past Husso.

The surging Marner extended the lead to 3-1 just 52 seconds into the second period.

Marner skated into the slot and snapped a shot that bounced off Husso’s upper body and behind the goaltender, definitely a goal Husso would want back.

Husso, whom Lalonde has called the Wings’ MVP this season, was replaced for the first time this season after Sandin’s shot from far out eluded Husso at 8:37.

Toronto has shown a dedication this young season to being strong defensively and it showed against the Wings.

“They’re winning because they’re playing the right way,” Lalonde said “They’re more concerned with keeping the puck out of their net on this current (win) streak. Everybody looks at the world class difference makers but they’re (winning also with defense).”

Lalonde has stressed all season how the Wings need to be sharp in all areas of the game against any team, but particularly against a balanced and talented roster such as the Leafs’.

“We could be playing team 30 or team one, it’s a lot of about us, and our margin for error is even less when we play elite teams,” Lalonde said. “You could play real well for 20 or 40 minutes against Toronto and still be (trailing). They have world-class talent, good depth, great special teams and it’s why they’re a Cup contender.”

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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