Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) – Johan Franzen scored twice and Henrik
Zetterberg had four assists to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 victory
over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opener of a home-and-home set from Air
Canada Centre on Friday.
Gustav Nyquist scored in his fourth straight game and Justin Abdelkader netted
the other goal for Detroit, which snapped a two-game skid.
Goaltender Jimmy Howard made 23 saves in the win.
Mike Santorelli supplied Toronto’s lone goal and James Reimer allowed all four
goals on 35 shots in defeat.
The two teams will play again in Detroit on Saturday.
Zetterberg stripped defenseman Roman Polak of the puck, skated behind the net
and sent a pass down low to Franzen, who redirected it past Reimer for the
game’s first goal halfway through the opening stanza.
The duo combined for another goal 5:42 into the second. Franzen received a
slick backhanded dish from Zetterberg, who skated across the goalmouth after
tracking down the loose puck at the circle, and lifted it over Reimer for a
2-0 Detroit lead.
Jakub Kindl sent a bouncing puck into the Toronto zone. Zetterberg tracked it
down at the right circle and sent it to the slot, where Nyquist kicked the
puck out of his skates and made it a 3-0 game on a wrister with 1:44 to play
in the middle frame.
The Maple Leafs got on the board 21 seconds into the third. Leo Komarov sent a
pass to Santorelli, who raced through the slot and backhanded the shot past
Howard for a 3-1 score.
Nyquist collected a giveaway from Dion Phaneuf and fired a shot from the right
circle. Abdelkader was there to redirect it past Reimer less than six minutes
into the third, restoring Detroit’s three-goal advantage.
Franzen left the game with a lower-body injury after crashing into the boards
at the end of his second goal … Nyquist became the fifth Detroit player
since the 1989-90 season to score in his first four games, joining Sergei
Fedorov, Brendan Shanahan, Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Holmstrom … Maple
Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner returned to the lineup after missing two games
as a healthy scratch … Detroit has won three straight against Toronto since
losing in last season’s Winter Classic … The last time the Maple Leafs and
Red Wings played one another in back-to-back games was during the 2000-01
season (Feb. 8, 10).