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Maple Leafs at Red Wings preview

Matthews looks to extend goal streak to five games for Toronto; Detroit seeks first win

by Dave Hogg / Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (3-1-0) at RED WINGS (0-1-2)

7:30 p.m. ET; FS-D, TSN4, NHL.TV


The Game

Auston Matthews will try to extend his goal-scoring streak to five games when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday.

Matthews, who leads the NHL with seven goals, and John Tavares (six goals) are the first teammates to each score at least six goals in their team's first four games since Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille did it with the Los Angeles Kings in 1988-89.

The Red Wings, who have lost their first three games, will be without four defensemen because of injury, including rookie Dennis Cholowski, who is tied for the team lead with three points (one goal, two assists).

Jimmy Howard (2.36 goals-against average, .924 save percentage) will make his third start for Detroit.


Players to watch

Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in four games. He joins Harry Cameron (Toronto Arenas, 1917-18) and Pat Stapleton (Chicago Black Hawks, 1967-68) as the only NHL defensemen to score at least 10 points in his team's first four games.

Red Wings center Dylan Larkin is tied for the team lead with three points (one goal, two assists).


They said it

"I couldn't be happier with the transition to playing in Toronto. I'm still adjusting to things, but playing this well makes it much easier." -- Maple Leafs center John Tavares

"It will be huge to get our first win and take the pressure off ourselves. We've gone to overtime a couple times, but we've got to finish off one of these games and get two points." -- Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Patrick Marleau -- Auston Matthews -- Kasperi Kapanen

Zach Hyman -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner

Par Lindholm -- Nazem Kadri -- Connor Brown

Josh Leivo -- Frederik Gauthier -- Tyler Ennis

Morgan Rielly -- Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev

Travis Dermott -- Martin Marincin

Frederik Andersen

Garret Sparks

Scratched: Andreas Johnsson, Justin Holl, Igor Ozhiganov

Injured: None


Red Wings projected lineup

Justin Abdelkader -- Dylan Larkin -- Anthony Mantha

Michael Rasmussen -- Frans Nielsen -- Tyler Bertuzzi

Thomas Vanek -- Andreas Athanasiou -- Gustav Nyquist

Darren Helm -- Luke Glendening -- Christoffer Ehn

Danny DeKeyser -- Filip Hronek

Libor Sulak -- Joe Hicketts

Nick Jensen -- Niklas Kronwall

Jimmy Howard

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Luke Witkowski, Martin Frk

Injured: Jonathan Ericsson (upper body), Mike Green (illness), Evgeny Svechnikov (undisclosed), Trevor Daley (upper body), Dennis Cholowski (upper body)


Status report

Kronwall will play after missing the first three games of the season with a lower-body injury. He replaces Cholowski, who was injured against the Kings on Sunday.


Stat pack

Marner has eight points (two goals, six assists) during a three-game point streak. … Marleau needs two assists for 600 in his NHL career. … Bertuzzi is the only Red Wings player with two goals this season. 

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