The Detroit Red Wings raised their Stanley Cup banner on Thursday night, but it was the Maple Leafs who were celebrating at game’s end. Toronto’s spirited effort vaulted them to a 3-2 victory in their opening game of the 2008-09 season, giving head coach Ron Wilson his first win behind the bench with his new club.
Pavel Kubina and Dominic Moore scored the Leafs’ first two goals while rookie Nikolai Kulemin notched the game-winner on a breakaway, pouncing on a turnover by the Wings’ Daniel Cleary.
Defenceman Luke Schenn had a solid game in his NHL debut, logging 17:20 of ice time and being credited with 3 hits.
The Leafs host the Montreal Canadiens in their home opener on Saturday.
Forward Lines: Ponikarovsky-Antropov-Blake, Tlusty-Grabovski-Hagman, Steen-Moore-Kulemin, Mayers-Stajan-Mitchell
Defence pairings: Kaberle-Schenn, Colaiacovo-Kubina, Van Ryn-Frogren
Goaltenders: Toskala (W 60:00, 35 SV, 2 GA ), Joseph (0:00)
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