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Keys To The Game: Leafs vs. Red Wings

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs get set to take on the Detroit Red Wings for the third time this season. Here are the Leafs three keys to a win against a Wings team that has been tough for them to beat.

Tough Test For The Power-Play

After going three straight games without a power-play goal, the Leafs finally broke through in that department on Thursday night. Detroit sports the second best power-play in the NHL at 89.6% just  .1 back of first place Chicago. Winning the special teams department and scoring goals in high quantities is key.

Top Line Danger

Detroit’s number one offensive unit has been all kinds of trouble for the Maple Leafs. Henrik Zetterberg has an overtime winning goal and four assists against Toronto this season. He has 15 points in 11 career games against the Leafs. Gustav Nyquist and Johan Franzen both have six points in six career games against Toronto. If any of these three players is allowed room to work down low against the Leafs, it will be a long night.

Possession and Faceoffs

The Maple Leafs were able to limit the danger of Steven Stamkos limiting his opportunities to get the puck. Tyler Bozak led the way by winning 22 of 30 faceoffs on Thursday night. Detroit is third in the league in faceoffs. The Leafs aren’t too far away, sitting in 7th. Winning key faceoffs against the likes of Henrik Zetterberg could the difference between a win and a loss.

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