Detroit Red Wings finally end the streak and beat the Leafs

Octopus Thrower

The Detroit Red Wings had a challenging task heading into Thursday night’s game against the ever-so-talented Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs have had Detroit’s number for quite some time; heading into Thursday night’s game, Toronto had won nine straight contests. The Detroit Red Wings hadn’t beaten the Leafs since February 1st, 2019.

This past Saturday, Detroit played a solid game in Toronto but was not rewarded for their efforts losing 4-1. Earlier in the year, Toronto beat the Red Wings 4-2 in their first matchup.

The Red Wings were somewhat lucky Thursday night not having to face Auston Matthews, who has been playing through injury this season but was feeling a bit under the weather.

The Detroit Red Wings got lucky early, settled in, and played a solid first period.

The Toronto Maple Leafs jumped on Detroit early in the first period, or so they thought. The Leafs appeared to take a 1-0 lead in this one just over a minute into the first frame. For a few moments, rookie forward Bobby McMann thought he had scored his first NHL goal in his second game.

McMann jumped on a loose puck in front of netminder Ville Husso and tried to kick it to the front of the net or to perhaps an area he could get his stick on it. The puck would then ricochet off Detroit defenseman Olli Maatta and into the net. There was a clear kicking motion, and to Detroit’s liking, the goal would be disallowed.

Here is the description of the rule.

Later in the frame, the Detroit Red Wings would net the first goal that would stand, thanks to Lucas Raymond. Raymond buried his 12th goal of the season from the circle with a beautiful shot that caught part of Ilya Samsonov’s stick off the inside of the post and in. Dylan Larkin made an excellent drop pass on the play.

The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead into the locker room following the first period, plus had a slight edge in shots over the Leafs to the tune of 9-8.

Detroit would take a 2-0 lead early in the second period, thanks to Robby Fabbri at 3:49 of the second period. The Red Wings moved the puck around nicely, eventually leading to Kubalik sending a pass cross-ice to Jonatan Berggren, who, in turn, made a nifty pass to an awaiting Fabbri in the slot. It was a power-play tally.

It’s already Fabbri’s third goal of the season. Fabbri’s return to Detroit’s lineup has been such a welcomed sight. He’s chipped in nicely offensively, but he’s also very engaged physically. He doesn’t look tentative and is not playing like someone who just returned from their third knee surgery.

The Leafs would have an answer. Defenseman Rasmus Sandin on a shot that seemed to change direction and speed after a nice give-and-go. Toronto would outshoot the Red Wings 8-6 in the second period.

Toronto would carry much of the play in the third period, but Ville Husso, as he does so often, was Detroit’s top player and slammed the door for the Red Wings. Husso stopped 32 of 33 shots pacing the Red Wings. Ben Chiarot would relieve some tension with a bizarre clearing attempt that would bank off the boards from deep in his own zone and all the way down into the gaping net.

The Detroit Red Wings, up 3-1 with just over a minute to play, found themselves on a power play thanks to a William Nylander high-sticking penalty. Moritz Seider put the icing on the cake with a great point shot that would find the top corner as Tyler Bertuzzi put a great screen on Samsonov.

It’s an outstanding 4-1 Red Wings victory despite being outshot 33-23 over the Leafs and a much-needed mini two-game win streak for Detroit. The Red Wings won 54.2% of the faceoffs, went 2-5 on the power play, and 3-3 on the penalty kill.

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Next up for the Detroit Red Wings is a date with the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena.

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