WINGS POSTGAME: Valiant effort falls short against Maple Leafs

The Detroit Red Wings were flying high, winning for the first time in Montreal in 12 years on Thurdsday and starting the season 3-1. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs brought them back down to Earth, winning 5-2 Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Thoughts and Highlights

  • The Maple Leafs dominated most of the first period (leading 18-11 in shot attempts), but Frederik Andersen had to make a few toe saves on Grade-A scoring chances.
  • Jimmy Howard also made plenty of huge saves to keep the game close. Other than leaving his net to challenge a loose puck on Toronto’s second goal, Howard was fantastic.
  • Andreas Athanasiou finished the game without a shot attempt. Not a great showing from him or his line with Taro Hirose and Luke Glendening.
  • After overcoming some early offensive pressure from the Maple Leafs, the Red Wings struck first early in the first period, as Jacob de la Rose swatted a loose puck in the slot past Frederik Andersen.

  • About six minutes later, the Maple Leafs tied the game, Nick Shore made a nice move in the slot to backhand a shot past Howard.
  • With under a minute left in the second period, Howard got a bit too aggressive, leaving his net to corrall a loose puck, but Ilya Mikheyev beat him to it and fired it into the wide-open net.
  • Alexander Kerfoot would make it a 3-1 Maple Leafs midway through the third period.
  • However, the Red Wings came back 24 seconds, as Darren Helm‘s snapper beat Andersen.

  • Jake Muzzin made it a two-goal game with about six minutes left, off a nice cross-ice pass from Shore.
  • Trevor Moore added an empty-netter to make it 5-2.

Gif of the Game

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A number of Red Wings after Andersen made multiple toe saves.

Motor City MVP

Jimmy Howard

Yes, he did have that big gaffe near the end of the second period that gave the Maple Leafs the lead for good, but this game could have easily been 6-2 or 7-2 if not for a number of huge saves.

Howard, as well as Jonathan Bernier, have been excellent for the Red Wings this season, and as long as the goaltending is solid, Detroit has a chance to win every single night.