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Red Wings Leaf Two Points in Toronto: Detroit 3, Toronto 4

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Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Not many games left, but let’s make them count. Detroit is officially eliminated from playoff contention, but there is still time to get our younger players some experience.

Not gonna lie, I’d rather have Hicketts or Hronek in instead of Luke Witkowski, but I bought a Mega Millions ticket today, and I’d rather have that pay off than get a young defenseman in.

Toronto is always dangerous, so hopefully this game doesn’t get too out of hand.

First Period

Nylander nearly set up the first goal of the game as he turned near the goal and threw it in front, but it didn’t pinball in. Mantha allowed Matthews to pick his pocket for another chance.

Luke Witkowski can play forward and defense and can throw passes in front of his own net from either position.

If you had Darren Helm and Zach Hyman for your first fight of the game, please collect your winnings, and tell me what numbers to pick for Tuesday’s Mega Millions. No idea what led to that fight.

Nylander broke in and got an open shot from the right circle that Howard saved. Fortunately he didn’t get distracted by the fact that Nylander looks like Taxi Driver era Jodie Foster.

The Red Wings go to the first power play of the game with 13:46 left to play in the first.

With Mike Green out, Trevor Daley is back on the power play, just like he should have been all season. Somehow, Frk couldn’t put away a great feed from Mantha. Then, Andersen made a huge save on Nielsen in the slot.

Bertuzzi takes a penalty to nullify the man advantage.

Abdelkader makes a nice play to pick the puck off once the Leafs’ penalty expires, and he makes another nice play to run about 20 seconds off the clock.

Daley goes down off a collision from Kadri. It didn’t look to me to be a dirty play by Kadri, but I’ll have to see another look to be sure.

Darren Helm throws the puck out of play from his own zone. That’s still a penalty, so it’s a 5 on 3, and this will likely end in tears.

Weird how the Toronto power play, which is really good, does the drop pass entry over and over. It’s almost like the Red Wings problems are due to personnel and execution as opposed to the drop pass.

Jimmy Howard played very well on the penalty kill. Toronto had some good chances, but didn’t convert any.

Nazem Kadri lost an edge and fell into the boards awkwardly. Justin Abdelkader thought it was only fair to run into his own player at the other end.

Ken Daniels tells us that Trevor Daley has gone to the locker room, seemingly for concussion protocol testing.

Kasperi Kapanen, one of Toronto’s young guns, puts the puck away after a net mouth scramble. It was a comedy of errors on Detroit’s end, and it’s hard to tell whom to fault for the goal. It was part fluke, part good read by Tyler Bozak to get the puck to Kapenen.

1-0 Leafs.

Luke Witkowski seems like a good guy, and I have nothing against him personally, but I think that we’d be better off in this game if we randomly selected any defenseman in the AHL. That’s the entire league.

Also, he’s in instead of Ouellet, so if you’re thinking of getting a Ouellet jersey, I’d advise you to think twice.

OK, so bear with me here. There is 2:06 left in the period. They are now reviewing if a puck went in behind Howard at 4:27. The replay clearly shows that it didn’t. I am confused. OK, whatever.

Trevor Daley has not returned, so Detroit is down to 5 defenseman, which includes Witkowski. I can’t see any way this ends badly.

Nyquist had a clear breakaway and he lost the puck trying to bring it to his backhand.

Daley will return for the second period. Phew.

Second Period

Not too much happened in the first five minutes. Plekanec would have had a break the other way, but his stick broke on the block.

Dylan Larkin gets a pass up the middle, and after evading defenders on each side, snaps a quick shot past Andersen to tie the game! 1-1.

Frk is going to get a penalty shot! I really hope he gives himself a one-timer from the circles.

Frk goes with a wrist shot, and Andersen makes the save.

Jimmy Howard absolutely robs Johnsson on the backhand. I thought that was a goal for sure.

Andersen with a huge save on Zetterberg at the other end.

I know this is crazy, but Larkin is the best Red Wing on the ice tonight, at least for the skaters. Howard is playing very well as usual.

Detroit is....winning???

Dekeyser throws it at the net, and Bertuzzi tips it in front of the net down and in. Great setup and net front presence from Bert. 2-1 Detroit.

Even with the goals, Jimmy Howard is coming up big for Detroit to keep this game close. He’s gotta be in the running for player of the game.

After Detroit iced the puck, Connor Brown tipped a pass-shot from the point from Dermott to tie the game at two.

Nylander had a semi-breakaway, but Jensen stayed with him and lifted his stick without taking a penalty.

Penalty coming up. It’s Zetterberg, and he’s not happy, which makes sense because he is incapable of doing anything wrong.

Detroit kills the penalty, and the period ends 2-2.

Third Period

Larkin nearly set up Mantha for the go-ahead goal. Well, Larkin set him up, and Mantha did a great job to get in position. Andersen just stopped him.

Bertuzzi nearly got his second of the game off a rebound off a Jensen shot. The youngster did a great job of getting to a good scoring location.

We have some controversy. Nielsen’s shot looked to go in, but the official says no. The official is clearly wrong. It clearly hits the camera. I mean, the camera fell.

Oh come on. The official is saying there is incidental contact which leads to no goal. If this is no goal, it is the worst call of the entire year.

Fortunately, it’s not the worst call of the entire year, and Nielsen’s goal is upheld, leading to a 3-2 Red Wings lead.

Welp, the tying goal came sooner than I thought.

I was banking on a tying goal with 2 minutes left. Jensen loses the puck, and Nylander picks it up. A give and go with Matthews and Nylander ties it.

Trevor Daley takes a penalty with just over 10 minutes left to go. Detroit has played well, but Toronto is a better team. That’s pretty much the story of this game so far.

Matthews threw the puck to Kadri in front and Howard got over in time to stop the backhand.

Detroit kills the penalty. About 8 minutes to go in a 3-3 tied game.

4-3 Leafs

Detroit pinches, and Bertuzzi couldn’t get back quickly enough. Witkowski tried to defense, but he couldn’t, and Marleau got the puck to Kadri who put it past Howard.

Darren Eliot says he doesn’t blame Witkowski since he hasn’t played much defense lately. I’ll let you draw your own determination from that.

Andersen dropped a long shot from Nyquist and it came so close to going in, but it clearly didn’t.

Detroit pulls their goalie with about 1:30 left. They have a hard time getting into the Leafs zone and don’t really get any chance before the game ends.

4-3 Toronto is your final. Detroit did a lot of things well, and a lot of things not so well. Toronto was the better team in the end.