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No retribution as Wings down Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
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TORONTO (Ticker) -- Curtis Joseph did not play in his return to the Air Canada Centre, but the Detroit Red Wings didn't need him.

Manny Legace came within 10 seconds of a shutout in his hometown and Kirk Maltby scored another shorthanded goal as the Red Wings extended their winning streak to four games with a 2-1 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for Joseph, who signed with Detroit in the offseason after four years with the Maple Leafs. But fans booed when Legace was announced as the starting goaltender.

"That's always strange when you walk into the visiting locker room of the team you have formerly played for," said Joseph, who spent the previous four seasons in Toronto.

Red Wings coach Dave Lewis told Joseph before the game he would not play.

"As a player coming back to a city that you played in for a long time ... there is always more than just a game at stake," Lewis said. "There's friends, family, situations you normally don't have if you were going to a (different city)."

Legace stopped the first 30 shots he faced before Tie Domi capitalized on a turnover and got the Maple Leafs on the board with 9.3 seconds to play. Legace improved to 4-1-0 as Joseph's backup.

"Manny's been playing like that every game he's played this year," Lewis said. "He was very large in the first period."

Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn was not as impressed. After winning two in a row, his team scored fewer than two goals for the seventh time in 18 games this season. The Leafs are third in the Eastern Conference with 54 goals.

"We made a star out of a lot of goaltenders this year," Quinn said.

Toronto suffered a blow on rookie Henrik Zetterberg's goal in the third period as star winger Alexander Mogilny suffered an apparent hand injury and did not return.

Ed Belfour, who signed with Toronto in the offseason and was greeted by chants of "Eddie Belfour" with Joseph in the building, also made 30 saves. It was the first time the home crowd cheered for Belfour this season.

"That was really nice to hear," he said. "I'm thankful for the support."

Maltby opened the scoring 5:16 into the third period when his slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle deflected off the left skate of Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle and got past Belfour.

It was the fourth goal of the season for Maltby - all shorthanded. Detroit leads the NHL with seven shorthanded tallies.

"Timing is everything," Maltby said. "You shoot the puck, the first few were turnovers and a couple of breaks and bounces.

That's what you need when you're shorthanded."

Zetterberg scored 2:24 after Maltby to make it 2-0, roofing a drop pass from Pavel Datsyuk for his fourth goal of the season.

Between Detroit's goals, Legace made two of his best saves, coming out of the net to stop Mats Sundin's snap shot from the right hashmark and scrambling to turn aside Kaberle at the right post.

"He played a great game for them, especially for the first two periods," Leafs winger Mikael Renberg said. "We created a lot of chances and he made a great save on Mats there in the third.

He played a real good game."

The Red Wings moved to 272-271-93 in the all-time series between "Original Six" teams.
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