Red Wings-Maple Leafs Preview
GAME: Detroit Red Wings (15-9-3-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (14-6-5-2).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are often forgotten when the NHL's best teams are
Extending a seven-game winning streak against one of the league's elite
clubs may be enough to change that.
Toronto tries to extend its longest win streak in more than a decade when it
hosts the surging Detroit Red Wings.
Joe Nieuwendyk and Darcy Tucker each scored twice and Ed Belfour made 25
saves for his second shutout of the season Thursday, leading Toronto to a 6-0
victory at Boston.
Owen Nolan set up three goals for the Maple Leafs, winners of seven straight
for the first time since a franchise-record 10-game streak from Oct. 7-28,
"I didn't know about the 10 wins, but the most important thing is to do the
little things we've done these past three weeks, home and road," captain Mats
"When we get complicated, we get in trouble."
The streak has moved Toronto into first place in the Northeast Division and
pulled it within striking distance of Philadelphia for the NHL's best record.
The Leafs have outscored opponents 27-12 over the past seven games.
"We have never had a better dressing room since I've been here and the mood
is the best that I've ever seen," Leafs forward Tie Domi said. "Nolan has
been playing exceptionally well and it is a veteran bunch that is having fun."
Since missing four games with back spasms, Nieuwendyk has three goals and
four assists in four games. Nolan has four goals and 10 points in his last
seven contests after totaling 10 points in his first 20 games this season.
Toronto's streak includes two wins over Vancouver and one against Ottawa,
but Saturday's matchup could be the Leafs' most difficult challenge. Detroit,
tied for the Western Conference lead with 33 points, has outscored opponents
26-8 during a 4-0-1 streak.
Brett Hull capped a four-goal third period with his 730th career goal, as
the Red Wings rallied for a 4-4 tie at St. Louis on Thursday.
"Huge point considering we were down 3-0 and then 4-2," Detroit coach Dave
Lewis said. "Our guys really stepped up. We got some dirty goals tonight. We
hadn't been getting those."
Hull has goals in five straight games and nine in his last 11. His next goal
will tie him with Marcel Dionne for third place on the NHL list.