TORONTO -- The pre-season ended on a high note for the Toronto Maple Leafs
Tomas Kaberle and Kris Versteeg each had a goal and an assist Saturday as the Maple Leafs used a red-hot power play to beat the Detroit Red Wings
It wrapped up a busy of stretch of nine exhibition games in 12 days for the Maple Leafs, who didn't have much trouble with a team that more closely resembled Detroit's AHL affiliate than one of the Western Conference powerhouses. Coach Mike Babcock dressed only six or seven players who will open the regular season in the NHL.
One of the veterans he sent in was Jimmy Howard
because he wanted the No. 1 goalie to face a lot of shots. Babcock was hoping for a few more saves.
and Tyler Bozak
also had goals for Toronto (5-3-1), which went 3-for-6 with the man advantage. Phil Kessel
added three assists.
and Tomas Tatar
replied for the Red Wings (3-4-0).
Detroit briefly held a 1-0 lead courtesy of a power-play goal by Emmerton, but Toronto quickly took back the momentum. MacArthur made it 1-1 at 14:19 of the first period after linemate Mikhail Grabovski
turned Red Wings defenceman Jonathan Ericsson
inside-out and found him open in the slot.
The Leafs went ahead 2-1 on another goal created from the rush. Bozak saw a pass intended for Kessel deflected off a Detroit player and in.
A pair of power-play goals in the second period by Toronto put the game out of reach. Defenceman Dion Phaneuf
was standing in front of the net for both of them - causing some havoc when Versteeg cashed in a rebound at 4:41 and screening Howard when Kaberle's point shot found its way through at 11:41.
It was an encouraging sign for the Leafs, who were ranked 30th on the power play last season.
Leafs coach Ron Wilson replaced starting goalie J-S Giguere with backup Jussi Rynnas to start the third period. The only goal the Finn surrendered was to Tatar on a power play that came about when Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn
took exception to a hit from Justin Abdelkader
and went after the Detroit forward.
Schenn was assessed 19 minutes in penalties on the one play - two for unsportsmanlike conduct, two for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.
It didn't hurt the team much. The crowd at Air Canada Centre rose to its feet as the final seconds ticked away on the exhibition schedule.
A year ago, the Leafs dropped their final pre-season game 7-6 to the Buffalo Sabres - a night GM Brian Burke would later reveal gave him the first real indication of the struggles to come. This time around, he wasn't left with anything to panic about.
Notes: Leafs centre Mike Zigomanis
filled in for Christian Hanson, who was nursing a minor injury ... Detroit wraps up its exhibition schedule with a home game against Pittsburgh on Sunday ... Canadian comedian Russell Peters filmed a scene for an upcoming movie at Air Canada Centre after the game ... Announced attendance was 18,807.