Toronto came out dirty. They split open “The Mule’s” face just beside his eye almost immediately after the opening puck dropped. Johan (Mule) Franzen didn’t waste any time retaliating on the scoreboard. With the Red Wings earning a power play on a different high stick, the Maple Leafs mojo started to wane. Shortly after their penalty, Franzen found the back of the net.
Henrik Zetterberg set up his assistant. First, he stole the puck behind their net. Instead of dumping into the center, Hank took his time, drawing a defender over – then passed right to “The Mule” in front of the net.
With the cut still bleeding and Toronto continuing to commit penalties, Franzen struck again in the second period. The Captain Zetterberg again dropped a dime for The Mule to finish. Swooping in front of the goal, it looked like Hank was going in himself, then he dropped it behind him to the sweeping Franzen who finished on his way to crashing into the boards. One of the best goals you’ll see, the Maple Leaf goalie could only remove his mask in dismay.
It was all Red Wings for the rest of the period, resulting in another assist from Zetterberg right before the horn. The Captain knocked down a loose puck in the air, then promptly fired it center to Gustav Nyquist, who put in his fourth goal in our first four games.
The Maple Leaf fans may have gone home, but Toronto came out for a quick goal to start the final period. Perhaps, we were napping. Irregardless, the Red Wings responded and re-began to dominate puck possession through the end of the game. Five minutes after their goal, we scored for the 4-1 final.
This time, Nyquist played the part of Zetterberg, who still received an assist, anyways. Zetterberg flipped the puck past three defenders to Gus in the corner, who then fired it center between defenders to Justin Abdelkader for the finish. Abdelkader never backed down all night, including to Toronto’s captain. It was fitting for him to finish them off.
Jimmy Howard was our unsung hero, stopping many tough shots all game. He saved 23 on the night.