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Red Wings too much for weary Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
DETROIT (Ticker) -- The names may change, but the Detroit Red Wings just keep rolling along.

Jason Williams scored his first NHL goal midway through the first period and Luc Robitaille added his 617th later in the session as the Red Wings posted their seventh straight victory, a 6-2 triumph over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Sergei Fedorov scored twice and Igor Larionov and Sean Avery had a goal apiece as Detroit moved within one win of reaching the 100-point plateau for the third-straight season.

Detroit improved to 4-0 since the Olympic break despite the absence of veterans Steve Yzerman and Darren McCarty. With the veterans sidelined, rookies such as Williams and Avery have stepped up.

The Red Wings also got another solid effort from Dominik Hasek, who turned aside 33 shots en route to his league-leading 36th victory.

"The Leafs had more scoring chances than we did," Scotty Bowman said. "We scored on most of our chances and capitalized on their goaltending. Dominik was very good. We haven't been playing as well as we had been before but found a way to win."

Toronto fell to 1-2-1 since losing starting goaltender Curtis Joseph to injury on February 26.

Sabastien Centomo saw his first NHL action.
Corey Schwab, who is trying to fill-in for Joseph amid rumors the team is looking to pull off a trade, did not play well Tuesday. He surrendered three goals on 13 shots and was replaced by rookie Sebastien Centomo to start the second.

"I thought it would shake our guys a little bit," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said of the goalie change. "Clubs especially like space and time and they had a lot of it."

Detroit was quick to point out that the Maple Leafs, who were without Dmitry Yushkevich (leg), Alexander Mogilny (back) and Jyrki Lumme (suspension), were a bit undermanned.

"Tonight, we took advantage of the absence of some of their guys, especially Joseph, Yuskevich and Mogilny," Bowman added.

Williams got the Red Wings on the board 10:55 into the contest, converting a pass from Chris Chelios and using Robitaille as a screen to beat Schwab.

Fedorov's 22nd goal of the season came on the power play and Robitaille made it 3-0 with 2:09 left in the opening period. Nicklas Lidstrom picked up the first of his two assists in the game on Fedorov's goal and has a goal and six assists in four-game points streak.

Larionov's ninth goal of the season and the Red Wings' third straight power-play goal made it 4-0 with 8:54 remaining in the second period. Pavel Datsyuk, another rookie, picked up the second of his two assists.

Tomas Kaberle and Mats Sundin scored 4 1/2 minutes apart late in the second period but Detroit regained momentum 38 seconds into the third period as Fedorov beat Centomo. Fedorov has multi-goal games in three of his last seven contests.

"We didn't have a very good game that is for sure," Sundin said. "We created some chances for ourselves, even after it was 4-2. On the fifth goal we lost our down-low coverage. We can't give up a goal like that."

Avery capped the scoring with his second goal in as many games -- 9:45 into the final period.

Detroit was 3-of-6 on the power play and has eight power-play goals in its last six games.

"Playing five against four is a huge part of the game and right now it is nice to be able to score those goals," Larionov said.

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