Red Wings scorers: Henrik Zetterberg (1)
Goalies: Gustavsson (Win), 64:49 minutes played, 30 saves, 0 GA, Bernier (Loss) 64:50 minutes played, 31 saves, 1 GA)
Saturday night marked the second half of a home-and-home series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. The Leafs were fresh off of a 4-1 loss to the Red Wings just 24 hours prior and were eager to make up for a less-than-stellar effort that frustrated the team and fans alike.
The Original Six match up got off to an energetic start as a lively crowd was in attendance at the Joe Louis arena with both Leafs and Wings supporters. After struggling with sluggish starts through many of their previous games, the Leafs seemed to have more jump in their step and were intent on not letting the Wings get to them in the first period. Although both sides traded chances, neither team drew first blood before heading into the second.
The Leafs were awarded a power-play in the early minutes of the period, but they couldn’t generate any scoring chances. The rest of the second would remain uneventful as neither team could find the back of the net, yet both were getting into penalty trouble. Although the Leafs weren’t lacking in effort in the same way they were on Friday, they still couldn’t seem to find their rhythm.
The Leafs found themselves on the power-play yet again just after the third period got underway. They were generating more chances than on their previous advantages, but former Leaf Jonas Gustavsson was standing tall and was determined to keep the Leafs off the board.
Penalties plagued both sides as the period went on and neither side could stay out of the box. It seemed as though both teams woke up in the final 10 minutes of the game and there was pressure mounting on both sides, leading to many great scoring chances. But the game ultimately needed extra time.
Each side had a chance to come away with the extra point throughout the 5 minutes of overtime, but it looked like the game would have to be decided by a shootout. With just over nine seconds left of 4-on-4, Henrik Zetterberg netted the game winner, giving the Wings a 1-0 overtime decision.
Jonathan Bernier (pictured) made 31 saves in the defeat.
Although the 2014-2015 season has yet to reach the 10-game mark, the slow start to the season has frustrated the Leafs faithful, resulting in a Leafs fan throwing his jersey on the ice during Friday’s loss. It was not an isolated incident, having occurred at a previous home game. It seems as though the Leaf players have taken note as Joffrey Lupul spoke about what its like to play in Detroit, away from the tense atmosphere that seems to have enveloped the ACC. “Its fun, its probably a better energy than we get back in Toronto, so its nice when we’re here or in Buffalo and places like that when a lot of our fans come out.”
The Leafs will embark on a short road trip that will include a visit to Long Island and Ottawa before returning home for a game against the Bruins on Saturday.