Goals from unusual sources and the power play helped the Detroit Red Wings to a much-needed victory.
They emerged from Friday’s game at Little Caesars Arena with a 3-1 victory over Atlantic Division rival Toronto. It was only the Wings’ second victory in the past 12 games.
Defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Trevor Daley each scored for the first time of the season in the second period. Tomas Tatar scored for second straight game on a man-advantage in the third period.
The Leafs struck 1:58 into the game when Andreas Borgman’s shot deflected in. The Wings next had to kill a penalty to Daley, but Darren Helm and Dylan Larkin were so aggressive they produced two breakaways during the kill. The Wings finished with seven shots in the first period, which included Andras Athanasiou striding up the wall and setting up Tatar in the slot. Tatar tipped the puck but Curtis McElhinney made the save. The Leafs had 12 shots.
The Wings bore down in the second and threw more pucks on net. One went in at 5:22, when DeKeyser swatted at a loose puck and then shot it in off the crossbar. The Wings went on a power play within a minute, but despite couple of good looks weren’t able to build on their momentum with the man-advantage.
Penalty kill delivers
Daley skated the puck into Toronto’s zone, with Larkin coming up the right flank. Instead of passing, Daley took the shot, and gave the Wings their sixth shorthanded goal of the season. Jimmy Howard made a big stop on a Connor Brown slap shot with 10 seconds to go in the period to protect the lead. The Wings had a 20-17 edge in shots after 40 minutes.
The Wings, who’d been dinged for tying goals against in each of the previous two games, sustained a good attack level in the third period. Athanasiou fired a puck at the 4-minute mark that hit the crossbar and dropped to the goal line, but video review showed the puck did not cross. Tatar scored at 9:39 when he tipped Henrik Zetterberg’s shot. It was Tatar’s 10th goal of the season. DeKeyser was called for holding at 14:10, but the Wings only gave up one shot.