TORONTO - The Maple Leafs found out the hard way on Friday that missing a line change in 3-on-3 overtime can be costly.
Jakub Kindl was able to skate the puck through Toronto's zone, past all three skaters untouched and beat James Reimer over the blocker 2:17 into overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 win.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock wasn't pleased with his players and how they went about their shifts in the extra period, believing that the goal could have possibly been prevented with more awareness for clock management and who's on the ice.
"We should've changed going up the ice. That happened twice," said coach Mike Babcock. "We were caught out there tired and you stand there and they go by you."
Tyler Bozak, James van Riemsdyk and Jake Gardiner were on the ice for the winning goal, but Joffrey Lupul, Nick Spaling and Matt Hunwick started overtime with a 1:25 shift that left Toronto playing much of the sudden death in their own end before Kindl scored his second of the season.
Henrik Zetterberg added his 300th career goal for the Red Wings (7-5-1), who have won three in a row.
Dion Phaneuf found the back of the net for the Maple Leafs (2-8-3).
Zetterberg opened the scoring with 3:39 to play in the first with a harmless looking wrist shot one stride in from Toronto's blue line that fooled Reimer blocker side. It was his fourth of the season.
"I just tried to use the (defence) as a screen and get it on net," said Zetterberg. "But I don't think I actually got it on net. I think he was a little wide. It must've hit his pad and deflected in."
Reimer confirmed Zetterberg's thought.
"Tough goal," said Reimer. "It was probably going a foot wide, I was just trying to block and put it out front. Somehow it ended up off the top of my pad and deflecting back in towards the end."
Byron Froese came inches away from his first NHL goal and close to tying the game early in the second period when he rung a wrist shot off the post just past Petr Mrazek's blocker.
Mrazek wasn't tested very often through the first half of the game, but was sharp when needed ??? including a nice glove save on van Riemsdyk from the top of the face-off dot.
Shots were 12-9 Toronto after 20 minutes and 20-12 entering the third.
Kindl mishandled the puck at the Maple Leafs blue line while on the power play early in the third, which led to a short-handed breakaway for Shawn Matthias. But Mrazek stayed with him all the way and got the left pad down on Mathias' back-hand deke.
Soon after Lupul had a great chance in close, but he too was turned aside by the 23-year-old goaltender to keep it a 1-0 game.
"We knew they were going to come hard," said Mrazek. "They've started playing way better right now on their ice, so we knew it was going to be a tough game, but we found a way to get two points tonight."
With Reimer on the bench for the extra attacker, Toronto found some extra life and Phaneuf responded with his first of the year to tie it with just 1:01 remaining in regulation.
Reimer made his biggest stop of the night in overtime when he reached around his body and used the back of his glove hand to stop Danny DeKeyser in close, but Kindl scored a little over a minute later to take the two points.
Mrazek made 32 saves for Detroit as Reimer stopped 22 shots for Toronto, which has just one win in seven games this season at Air Canada Centre.
"I think our guys think we're playing right," said Babcock. "I think our guys would tell you that we're doing lots of good things, but we've got to find a way to win games."