Helene St. James Detroit Free Press
Published 10:53 PM EST Feb 1, 2019
The Detroit Red Wings started well, played fast and generated chances.
In a script that has become familiar of late, they outplayed their opponent the first two periods Friday at Little Caesars Arena, but weren’t able to make it show on the scoreboard.
That led to a tense third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dylan Larkin scored on a power play but the Leafs tied it with 2:19 to go in regulation. Danny DeKeyser scored in OT to secure a 3-2 victory on a night that began with a celebration.
Gustav Nyquist scored his 12th goal of the season, briefly giving the Wings a lead. Their penalty kill came through five times against the ninth-ranked power play in the NHL. Their power play was quiet through the first three attempts but Larkin connected on Thomas Vanek’s sneaky pass on the fourth, banking the puck in off Frederik Andersen. Patrick Marleau answered by redirected Auston Matthew’s shot out of midair.
As is common when the Wings host the Leafs, the stands were heavy on Toronto fans, leading to competing chants.
The evening began with a ceremony retiring Red Kelly’s no. 4. The Wings watched from their bench and from chairs on the ice. Henrik Zetterberg sat on one end, standing out amid the red and white jerseys in a suit.
More: Scotty Bowman on Red Kelly, Sergei Fedorov, Red Wings & Dylan Larkin
The Wings had another strong start, playing a fast, physical game and generating shots on Andersen. They had four shots on net when they went on a power play at 10:58 after Dylan Larkin drew a penalty on Mitch Marner. Andersen made four saves during that stretch, including on a slap shot from Anthony Mantha and a redirect attempt by Thomas Vanek. When the time came for the Wings to play shorthanded, they held the Leafs to one shot on Jimmy Howard. Howard came through with a big stop in Marner’s snap shot from the right circle during a Leafs power play late in the first period that left the shots 10-5 to Detroit after 20 minutes.
Nyquist nets another
Neither side had much success getting pucks through as the second period got underway. The Wings didn’t look sharp on their second power play, but were good on a third penalty kill, limiting the Leafs to one shot on net. It took a shift of creating chaos around Toronto’s net to score — Andersen couldn’t recover from making a stop on Andreas Athanasiou in time to deny Gustav Nyquist’s shot from the right side, putting the Wings up a goal at 8:14.
No breathing room
The game bore similarities to the Wings’ outing at Calgary and Vancouver, where they played well through 40 minutes but couldn’t score build a cushy lead. The Wings had 17 shots on net through two periods Friday, wigh some Grade-A chances, but had only Nyquist’s goal to show for it. That lead was negated with 1:49 to go in the second period, when Auston Matthews netted his 22nd goal of the season by firing a shot over Howard’s right shoulder.
Download our Red Wings Xtra app on Apple and Android!
- Detroit Red Wings 2019-20 season preview: The Yzerman Era begins
- Detroit Red Wings set 23-man roster ahead of season opener this weekend
- Detroit Red Wings hang tough with Maple Leafs, fall in OT, 5-4
- Detroit Red Wings lose to Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-4 in overtime
- Detroit Red Wings ponder how to play every game like it's the Leafs
- Kapanen's 2 goals lead Maple Leafs past Red Wings 5-4 in OT
- Kapanen scores twice, leads Leafs past Red Wings 5-4 in OT
- Detroit Red Wings legend donates $1M to Oakland University
- Detroit Red Wings: 'This hurts' as losses pile up, confidence ebbs
- Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: Time, TV, game info