Depth prevails as Leafs down the Red Wings 5-2

Gordon Brown
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@gordbrown_

Saturday, October 12, 2019


Toronto (5) Detroit (2) Final

Toronto Maple Leafs’ bottom-six forward group produced each goal in their 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena.

The visiting Maple Leafs entered the game having lost three consecutive games and were looking to bounce back in this Original Six matchup. In lieu of a productive night, Toronto’s top two lines were absent from the scoresheet.

Depth played an important role as Toronto looked to leapfrog their opponent for third place in the Atlantic Division. Accumulating points early on in the season can be crucial to a team’s prolonged success.

Frederik Andersen had himself a bounce-back game after allowing seven goals to Tampa Bay on Thursday, turning away 25-of-27 shots to earn his third victory of the season. The 30-year-old improved his career record versus Detroit to 8-0-1.

Slow starts plagued the Maple Leafs once again as Detroit scored 3:44 into the opening frame to claim early momentum.

It took slightly over six minutes before Toronto responded with Nick Shore’s first goal as a member of the Leafs. The 27-year-old spent last season in the KHL with Magnitogorsk Metallurg and made the roster out of training camp.

Toronto took the lead in the second period off of Ilya Mikheyev’s second goal of the season and Alexander Kerfoot extended it to 3-1 in the third. 

Darren Helm produced a timely goal 0:24 seconds after Kerfoot’s tally to make it a one-goal game once more. However, the Red Wings struggled to match Toronto’s depth despite shutting down its deadliest weapons.

A key defensive zone face-off win saw Frederik Gauthier outmuscle Luke Glendening, knocking him to the ice before the play shifted up-ice for an offensive break. Jake Muzzin played a give-and-go with Dmytro Timashov, who out-waited several defenders before threading a pass to an undetected Muzzin creeping down the far side for a 4-2 insurance goal.

Gauthier went seven-for-seven in the face-off circle in 11:12 minutes of ice-time.

The Maple Leafs will be back in action on Tuesday versus the Minnesota Wild at Scotiabank Arena.