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Wings Go from Nice to Naughty, Blow it vs. Leafs in OT

The Red Wings had leads of 3-1 and 4-3 in this game. The Leafs tied it with 7 seconds left in regulation, then won it in overtime to steal this one from Detroit.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like deja vu for me. Just a few weeks ago, I was on the recap for the Wings-Leafs, in Toronto, when the Red Wings were heavy underdogs, and well, let’s just say the ending of that game was amazing. It’s basically the same thing heading into tonight. The Leafs are playing well and the Red Wings are not, which is why they are big-time underdogs. The “Lose for Hughes” crowd is slowly gaining momentum, and if the Wings can’t turn it around soon, that won’t stop any time soon. To the Air Canada C... Scotiabank Arena (I’m never going to get that right nor do I want to call it that), we go.

1st Period

Larkin vs. Matthews. Bernier vs. Sparks. Off we go. The Leafs score 27 seconds in. Matthews throws one in on goal that generated a big rebound which landed right in front of Bernier for Kasperi Kapanen to pick right up and bury. 1-0 Leafs. This looks like it will be fun. All Leafs once more as the Red Wings don’t even look ready for this one. Finally some zone time for the Wings and Nyquist almost scores off a scramble in front. And wow, now they do score! Filip Hronek with a blast from the point that powered it’s way through Sparks, may have been deflected in front, either way, it’s 1-1. Red Wings with even more pressure now. This game has taken a complete 180. A big turnover in front by Sparks that bounced right to Abby who left it for Nyquist, but his attempt was stopped by the Toronto net-minder. 1st TV timeout.

Red Wings heading to the PP as Marner tripped LGD. Larkin ripped one from a short angle off the post. That pretty much was the only chance on the PP. Don’t look now, but the Red Wings are outshooting Toronto 9-2 as well. Another delayed penalty against Toronto, it’s Nylander now for high-sticking. So the Red Wings have a chance to improve off their last PP. 2nd TV timeout.

Nyquist AGAIN stopped in front after a no-look backhand pass across the zone by Larkin. Yet another penalty coming against Toronto after Abdelkader had his stick held by Marner. 5-on-3 for 29 seconds. And I don’t believe they even registered a shot on goal on the 5-on-3, as they kept trying to tee up one-timers. And the rest of the PP went exactly how you would expect it to go. 2-on-1 for the Red Wings after getting a fortunate bounce at their own blue line, but Bertuzzi lost his balance on the shot attempt and it went wide. De La Rose and LGD now with a couple of chances in the Leafs zone, but neither chance goes. ANOTHER delayed penalty against the Leafs and BAM, 2-1 Detroit! Larkin blasts one from the point on and Rasmussen tipped it in! The first two minutes of this period looked awful, but the rest of the way it was all Red Wings. End of 1 in Toronto.

Score: 2-1 DET

Shots: 13-3 DET

2nd Period

I’m a firm believer in “make-up calls,” and while all of the Leafs penalties have been legit, something tells me the Wings are getting the next one. Much slower start to this 2nd Period. A 2-on-1 between Nyquist and LGD almost bounced in the back of the net, but it stayed out. Nyquist is snake-bitten, and then some, tonight. 3-on-2 by the Leafs led to a huge stop by Bernier after Matthews dropped one for Par Lindholm who teed up a slap shot from the top of the circle. However, things have slowed down a ton compared to the 1st Period. 1st TV timeout.

Larkin now with two good chances, both stopped by Sparks. Sandwiched in between his opportunities, he threw one from behind the net to Cholowski at the point and he just missed the net on the one-timer. EHN SCORES! He got sprung for a breakaway by Wade Megan and he fought off Justin Holl to flip one home on the backhand. His 1st career NHL goal makes it 3-1 Detroit! 2nd TV timeout.

And the Leafs score. Frederik Gauthier with a point-blank goal after he got the pass from behind the net from Lindholm. 3-2 Wings just like that. Trevor Moore credited with the secondary assist to give him his first NHL point, in his first career NHL game, on Gauthier’s first of the year. Now it’s a tie game. Tavares to Reilly right in front of the net and this game has turned around quickly once more. 3-3. The goals came just 68 seconds apart. Final TV timeout. Not much else going on in this period as we hit the 4 minute mark of the 2nd. Final TV timeout.

A tic-tac-toe chance by Bert-Vanek-Nielsen almost resulted in a goal, but Vanek’s pass attempt was deflected just wide by Nielsen. Vanek with a chance in the high slot, wide open, and he passed it to no one. There it is. 1st penalty of the game (“the next one”) against Detroit and the crowd gives a nice Bronx cheer. Shot from the point by Gardiner was deflected in front and it caught the post next to Bernier. That pretty much was it for the Toronto PP as the Wings killed it off nicely after that. That does it for the 2nd Period as well. Real interesting 3rd coming up next.

Shots: 22-14 DET

Score: 3-3

3rd Period

First chance of the period was sauced in front by Kadri, but Cholowski with a nice heads up play was able to bat it away. Marner took the puck away at the Red Wings blue line, sent one down low for Tavares, and somehow it stayed out. Bernier made the save on the original attempt, then a scramble ensued before it was cleared away. Penalty to Vanek now, that wasn’t a penalty, but the refs had to give the Toronto fans something to not complain about. The Leafs PP was less than impressive again until a chance in front was deflected by Kadri off the crossbar right as it expired. That does it for the PP and we are still tied. 1st TV timeout.

12 minutes to go in this one, and the Red Wings don’t have a shot-on-goal in the last 10 minutes of game time now. Things have tightened up now as well, as both teams are playing much more conservatively. 2nd TV timeout. NIELSEN SCORES! Kronwall shot one from the point that ricocheted off Nielsen originally, then he chased down his own rebound and put it in to the wide open net. 4-3 Detroit. The Leafs are starting to heat up as they have spent a lot more time in the Wings end now. Buckle up folks, final TV timeout.

Red Wings controlling it so far out of the TV timeout as the Leafs haven’t been able to get anything going in the Red Wings zone. 3 minutes left. Empty net already for Toronto, Babcock’s not messing around. Puck deflected into the crowd from the Red Wings zone, and the face-off will come outside the blue line with Sparks back in the net for it. Matthews was tripped after passing it off at the Red Wings blue line, somehow it wasn’t called (make-up call, thank you). Timeout Leafs with 90 seconds left. Red Wings can’t win a face-off lately and the puck is controlled by the Leafs in the offensive zone. The Leafs can’t hold on to the puck now and Gardiner has it hop off his stick out to center. 30 seconds left, it’s back in the Wings zone. Kronwall couldn’t clear the puck and the Leafs score with 7.6 seconds to go.... Gardiner ripped it from the point and JT91 tipped it in. 4-4. Overtime.

Shots: 28-21 DET

Score: 4-4


I started off this recap by saying it was like deja vu between these two teams, and it’s continuing to happen as things are repeating themselves once again. Score of that game heading into OT? 4-4. Hey D-Boss, let’s do it again. Holy smokes. Marner went between his legs on a two-on-one and hit Tavares who sent it over the net. This is fun. So much back-and-forth going on. Now it’s not as much fun. Leafs win. Kapanen spun around and backhanded one that squeaked through the five-hole on Bernier. A brutal goal to give up. A brutal game to lose. 5-4 Leafs.