Photo Credit: Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame: Leafs squeak to 3-2 win over Wings

Well, two points is two points.

After a series of games where the Leafs hadn’t won since that OT victory over the Winnipeg Jets on February 21st, the Detroit Red Wings were perfect feeding material for the Buds.

Coming into the game last in the Eastern Conference, it seemed like if there was ever a game to snap out of their losing streak, this would be the one. And though it wasn’t exactly smooth, the Leafs managed a respectable enough 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.

The Rundown

The Leafs started out about as quickly as you’d like, as just 67 (lol) seconds into this game they found themselves with a 1-nil lead… courtesy of former Wings man Alexey Marchenko.

For once, a Leaf scored against his former team and not the other way around.

Funnily enough, it was his first goal of the season. Thanks, Detroit!

JVR chipped in with his goal first in quite a few games about halfway through the period…

In the second period, it was all Leafs… for most of it.

A failed zone exit led to Nazem Kadri’s goal, giving him his 27th on the year and the Leafs a 3-zip lead.

Detroit didn’t actually manage a shot on goal until 3:48 left in the second, which is maddeningly remarkable if you think about it.

Gustav Nyquist hit his stride after a rough few months and put the Red Wings on the board with 38 seconds left in the second period.

36 seconds into the third, he had his second.

Hold on to your butts, folks! After all, these are the Toronto Maple Leafs!

The game’s final ending sequence was an interesting one.

Henrik Zetterberg’s face was cut was about 5 seconds left via an errant Connor Brown high stick. No call.

It likely wouldn’t have mattered, but was a fair enough qualm to hold with the refs. Zetterberg argued briefly before returning to the bench to get cleaned up, and talked his way into staying onto the ice in an offensive zone faceoff. With the Wings down 3-2, this was obviously their final chance.

The ironic thing though came moments later, when Zetterberg earned a faceoff violation and delay of game penalty, effectively ending the game.

The horn goes, and the home team wins.

HUGE two points. Wasn’t pretty, but they don’t ask how, they ask how many.

The Stats

As stated earlier, the Wings fell flat in the second and the Leafs found a way to capitalize. Wasn’t dominant, strong enough and though it was a scary final 10 minutes or so, the Leafs found a way to hold on.

Blue Warrior

A little quiet recently, Mitch Marner managed two assists and earns tonight’s Blue Warrior

Up next

The Leafs stay at home against Philadelphia on Thursday night. See you then!

    • There were missed calls throughout the game, I’m not surprised. Earlier in the game Hyman was tripped, then had his stick hacked in half with the puck along the wall. The refs now adays typically call what they feel like, and they had put their whistles out at the end.

  • lukewarmwater

    I’m still surprised that a 31 goal man in most cases is on the second power play. I get that at times he will have just finished a shift when the penalty is called. But tonight twice he was rested and they went with Bozak, Marner, J.V.R. and Uncle Leo. Just surprised by it , but then I’m not 7 million a year.

    • Gary Empey

      There is a very fine line between our 1st and 2nd powerplay units. I suspect Babcock may want Bozak and Komarov available to send out after the powerplay is over. After a successful penalty kill, teams often come right back to score one themselves. Just a guess on my part.

      • Robert

        What’s interesting is Kadri is on one PP unit leading the team in PP goals, while Nylander is on the other PP unit and leads the team in PP points. I doubt that is common. I’d assume that normally, a team’s PP goal leader & PP points leader(if not the same player) at least usually are on the same PP unit.

    • getrdone

      Learning to win, that is the name of the game. Yes it was a bit of a nail biter Glen, but I thought they also had some offensive time in the third in this game and they need to take that approach more often, keep skating and let the other team chase.

      • Top Shelf

        Completely agree. It drives me nuts when I see them just trying to hang on and protect a lead. More time attacking means less time with your butt clenched in your own zone.

        • Stan Smith

          That’s all fine in theory. The problem with that is you still have to stay on the right side of the puck. Look at the Wings first goal. Less than a minute to go in the period and all 5 Leafs on the ice were thinking offence. End result, Nyquist gets behind everybody and scores the goal on a turnover.

          On the Second goal the forwards were thinking offence again, and Brown didn’t get back on time to cover the trailer.

          I think the Leafs actually did an excellent job of playing the last 10 minutes of the game. The Wings didn’t get too many really good scoring chances.

  • Top Shelf

    Well, we almost saw the same old story of letting a good lead slip away……. BUT IT DIDN’T!!! Maybe that’s a sign of improvement or growth or something?

  • Stan Smith

    I find it interesting that slant the article took. From the opening line “Well, two points is two points.”, to finishing with “but they don’t ask how, they ask how many”. It makes it sound like the Leafs did not deserve to win this game. The fact is they did deserve it, and it is exactly the type of game they need to learn to win on a regular basis. The 5 – 1 and 6 – 0 wins are easy. The games they win on talent alone are easy. It is the games where things are ugly, and close, where the team that works the hardest, gets into the dirty areas and gets the win. I give them full credit for this victory.

    • Gary Empey

      Those two points were very important to the Leafs at point in the season. A loss here would have meant we would be 3 points back. By no means does that mean we would have been out of it, but with so many other teams also within range and the parity we now have, it is difficult to climb up unless a team goes on a really big hot streak.