(SportsNetwork.com) – The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to beat the Detroit Red
Wings for the second time this week when the Original Six rivals meet Saturday
at Air Canada Centre.
Toronto, which has won three straight and five of its last six outings, posted
a 2-1 shootout victory Wednesday night in Detroit and will try to pick up
another win against the Red Wings on home ice.
Wednesday’s victory was Toronto’s second straight against Detroit since losing
the first two meetings of the season series. The clubs are meeting tonight for
the fifth and final time in the 2014-15 regular season.
Mike Santorelli scored in the final round of the shootout to lead Toronto to
the recent victory in the Motor City. With the final attempt, Santorelli
skated in on net and buried a wrister between the pads of Jimmy Howard for the
Phil Kessel had the goal in regulation for the Maple Leafs, while James Reimer
stopped 41 shots in the win.
“We weren’t at our best tonight, but we stood up to the challenge,” said
The Maple Leafs will aim for their first four-game winning streak since
recording six straight wins from Jan. 12-21 of last season.
Detroit, which outshot Toronto by a 42-19 margin, hopes it can convert more
scoring opportunities in Saturday’s rematch.
“They stole two points but I’ll take it every night. If you play like that
you’re going to win,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock of Wednesday’s game.
While Toronto has been idle since that win, the Red Wings hosted Florida on
Friday and suffered another shootout loss. Roberto Luongo stopped 29 shots in
regulation and both Detroit chances in the shootout to lift the Panthers to
the 3-2 win at Joe Louis Arena.
Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist picked up a goal each for the Red Wings and
Howard stopped 24 shots in the loss.
After Pavel Datsyuk failed in his bid to open the shootout, Trocheck solved
Howard with a wrister after several stick fakes. Nyquist then lost control of
the puck while attempting a deke in front and Luongo swept the chance away.
Brandon Pirri then ended the contest with another successful shot.
The loss dropped the Red Wings to 1-5 in shootouts this season.
“When we get to a shootout we’re not a confident group,” Babcock said. “We
have to fight through it and find a way to win one.”
Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser sat out Friday’s test and is expected to
miss another game tonight. Forward Stephen Weiss also is expected to miss
Saturday with a shoulder injury suffered in the second period against the
Petr Mrazek will start in goal for the Red Wings. The 22-year-old is 3-0 this
season with a 2.59 goals against average.
Detroit is 6-3-3 on the road this season. The Wings open a four-game homestand
Tuesday night against Columbus.