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game recap

Maple Leafs strike quickly to defeat Red Wings

Toronto scores four times on first five shots

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs scored four goals on their first five shots in a 6-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday.

 

[WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs highlights]

 

Nazem Kadri, Zach Hyman, Auston Matthews and Connor Brown scored in the first period for the Maple Leafs (6-1-0), who have won three consecutive games.

Morgan Rielly and William Nylander scored, and Curtis McElhinney made 30 saves in his first start of the season for Toronto, which has the best record in the NHL.

Video: DET@TOR: Kadri opens scoring with slick wrister

"It feels really good, the guys are happy," Rielly said. "We've had some hard-fought wins where we've really taken some pride in it, but that being said, we're just getting started here. The season's only two weeks old, so we have a long way to go. It's a good feeling to start this way, but it's a long season."

Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Tatar and Jonathan Ericsson scored, and Nick Jensen had three assists for the Red Wings (4-3-0), who have lost two consecutive games.

Jimmy Howard allowed three goals on four shots and was replaced by Petr Mrazek, who allowed a goal on the first shot he faced before making 19 saves on the final 20 shots.

Video: DET@TOR: Hyman redirects Rielly's shot past Howard

"There was some kind of funny goals, I don't know if that was all on (the goalies). I think some of it is where it was just one of those nights where it goes in for them," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We did tons of good stuff and had lots of good moments, especially in the first (period) where we carried the play, but it just seemed like everything they threw at the net when in. I can't say that's always goaltending, just sometimes that's how it goes."

Kadri put a wrist shot past Howard's blocker at 5:56 of the first period to make it 1-0. Hyman deflected a shot from Rielly 43 seconds later to put the Maple Leafs ahead 2-0.

Zetterberg made it 2-1 with a wraparound at 12:10, but Matthews scored at 15:46 to make it 3-1. Connor Brown scored on Mrazek at 16:26 to put the Maple Leafs up 4-1.

"We can definitely be a lot better, but when we're coming out with two points in games like these in back-to-backs, our progress coming from last year in these types of games, it's definitely pretty positive for the group," Matthews said.

Tatar scored at 7:02 of the second period to make it 4-2; his first of the season was his 100th NHL goal. Ericsson put a point shot past McElhinney's blocker at 8:36, but the goal was waved off because of goaltender inference. The Red Wings challenged and the ruling was overturned to make it 4-3.

Video: DET@TOR: Tatar nets own rebound for 100th NHL goal

Rielly put the Maple Leafs up 5-3 with a power-play goal at 12:57. The Red Wings challenged but it was determined that goaltender interference did not occur.

Nylander scored into an empty net at 16:52 of the third period to make it 6-3.

 

Goal of the game

Matthews skated into the Red Wings zone and, using defenseman Trevor Daley as a screen, put a wrist shot past Howard on the short side for his sixth goal of the season.

Video: DET@TOR: Matthews nets wrister after nice move

 

Save of the game

McElhinney stretched out his left pad and made a save on Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha at 14:50 of the first period, keeping the Maple Leafs up 2-1.

"I was just trying to get low coverage; it went to the slot and was kind of bouncing around," McElhinney said. "He was off to the side of the net, and I was aware of him, so I was just trying to get low coverage."

Video: DET@TOR: McElhinney seals post to stuff Mantha

 

Highlight of the game

Zetterberg controlled the puck at the Maple Leafs blue line and carried it into the zone, getting around defenseman Andrea Borgman. He rounded the net and put it past McElhinney, who could not slide across in time.

Video: DET@TOR: Zetterberg beats McElhinney with wraparound

 

They said it

"When you look at the way he played at the end of last year, we have all the reasons in the world to have confidence in him because he's proven he can play great, and he played great again tonight. It goes a long way when you have that faith in a guy like him; he comes out and gets a huge win for us on a back-to-back against a team within our division." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly on Curtis McElhinney

 

"Is that what we are? Yeah, that's great to see. It's still October, so we can't get too ahead of ourselves here, we understand that there's a lot of good teams that we have to play and it's not going to be this loose for long." -- Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri on having the best record in the NHL

 

Need to know

Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau played his 1,500th NHL game, the 18th player to do so. … Rielly's assist on Hyman's goal was his 100th in the NHL. He has six in seven games this season. … Toronto has won six of its first seven games for the seventh time in its 100-year history.

 

What's next

Red Wings: Host the Washington Capitals on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-D, NBCSWA+, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Matthews helps propel Maple Leafs past Red Wings, 6-3

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