(SportsNetwork.com) – The Detroit Red Wings will try to complete a perfect
three-game road trip and notch their longest winning streak of the season
Saturday when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
The Red Wings have won three of four games and posted wins in Columbus and
Winnipeg to begin their current road trip. Detroit will aim for its first
three-game winning streak of the season when it faces the rival Maple Leafs
Detroit is 2-0 on this swing despite playing both tilts without star forward
Pavel Datsyuk, who is battling a groin injury. Datsyuk has missed four of the
last six games with the lingering issue and he will sit out Saturday as well.
The Russian veteran has five goals and six assists in 10 games this season.
After slamming the Blue Jackets by a 5-0 score on Tuesday, the Red Wings
rallied for Thursday’s close victory in Winnipeg. Tomas Tatar scored twice,
including the winner late in the third period, to help Detroit erase deficits
of 2-0 and 3-2 en route to a 4-3 victory.
Tatar’s second goal of the game came 2:10 after Justin Abdelkader tied the
score at 3-3 for the Red Wings, who have won back-to-back games for the first
time since beating Washington and Los Angeles from Oct. 29-31.
The Red Wings haven’t won three in a row since a four-game run from March 29-
April 4 of last season.
“We came back once so we knew it was going to be in the back of their heads,”
said Johan Franzen, who also scored for Detroit. “They’d be a bit insecure
with the lead when they dropped two goals against us. So we stuck with it and
had a good road game.”
Detroit’s Petr Mrazek made 28 saves in his first game of the season.
Jimmy Howard will get the start in net tonight for the Red Wings. He is 3-1-1
with a 2.23 goals against average in his career against Toronto.
The Red Wings swept a home-and-home series with Toronto from Oct. 17-18,
extending Detroit’s winning streak in this series to four games. The Maple
Leafs, who have dropped three straight on home ice to the Wings, haven’t
beaten Detroit since taking last season’s Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.
The Maple leafs were able to halt a three-game skid with Thursday’s home win
over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Toronto notched a 5-2 decision over the Bolts
after getting outscored by a 17-5 margin during its losing streak.
After getting torched 9-2 in Tuesday’s home game against Nashville, the Leafs
rebounded with the win over Tampa.
Behind a three-goal second period in which James van Riemsdyk scored twice,
the Maple Leafs were able to put the humiliating defeat against the Predators
“It was nice for us,” said van Riemsdyk. “When things aren’t going well for us
in this city, I think there is a lot of overanalyzing going on. You’ve got the
most passionate fans in the world here and a lot of (media) coverage, so you
know there’s going to be a lot of people giving their two cents worth on us.”
Roman Polak added a goal and an assist, while Richard Panik and David Clarkson
also tallied. Jonathan Bernier aided Toronto’s cause with 26 saves, half of
which came during the pivotal second period.
It’s unclear if Bernier or James Reimer will get the start in net tonight.
Bernier is 2-2-2 with a 2.73 GAA in eight career games — five starts —
against Detroit, while Reimer is 0-3-0 with a lofty 3.96 GAA in this matchup.