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In-Game Recap: Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – The Red Wings will be without Niklas Kronwall for 1-3 weeks after the veteran defenseman suffered a sprained knee during Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers.

However, because of the way Kronwall fall backward after collided with two teammates, a mystery remains. Nobody knows for sure which knee was injured, and the Red Wings wouldn’t reveal those details.

Asked if Kronwall hurt the same knee that he had arthroscopic surgery on in mid-January, Blashill would only say, “No, opposite.”

The 35-year-old Kronwall missed 15 games when one of his knees became problematic, though he said at the time the knee didn’t hamper his on-ice abilities.

Kronwall’s absence will gives someone like Danny DeKeyser or Brendan Smith time at the point on the Wings’ power.

“We'll probably give both of them a chance at different times,” Blashill said. “Smitty's had a little more opportunity this year. I think DeKeyser was sixth on our team, last year's team on PP minutes, so he obviously was a big factor in what was the second-ranked PP so he'll get some of those opportunities. He did last night. He'll probably start the game with the opportunities but Smith may get some as well."

Alexey Marchenko, who has been a healthy scratch in three of the past four games, will draw into the Wings’ lineup tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though the Wings will make a decision later on whether or not to recall a defenseman from AHL Grand Rapids at some point.

“Marchie can step in and play great, there’s no question,” Blashill said. “He’s been a real good player for us for lots of this year. We’ve said before depth is a huge part of success and we’ll have to rely on that here again tonight.”

For the first time this season, Petr Mrazek will start consecutive games on back-to-back nights. He made 23 saves against the Rangers in piucking up his 26th win of the season on Saturday.

Blashill said a big factor in his decision to go with Mrazek again was that the weekend games were both home contests.

“Without travel it’s a way easier back to back,” Blashill said. “It’s different if you’re getting in at three in the morning. The game was earlier so the time period is much different. He wasn’t extraordinarily busy yesterday, the puck was in the other end of lots of the game. Not that he didn’t have to make saves, but it’s not a tiresome-type game. I’ve got great confidence, he’s starting to get on a little bit of a roll. Let’s put him back in and see how he does today.”

Toronto has posted a 1-12-7 record against Atlantic Division rivals this season. The Leafs lone divisional win came against the Boston Bruins, in overtime, on Feb. 2.

Heading into Sunday’s tilt with the Maple Leafs, the Red Wings were already game planning without Kronwall on the back end. But they swiftly had to plug in a void on the forward line when Darren Helm fell ill and was unable to take pregame warmups at Joe Louis Arena.

Helm, who scored twice against the Rangers, was replaced by Tomas Jurco, who was slotted on the fourth line with center Luke Glendening and forward Teemu Pulkkinen.

The Leafs had a few scoring chances and one goal disallowed during the period.

Toronto rookie William Nylander had the first chance when he had the Wings’ Petr Mrazek dead to rights but missed an open net firing a shot between the goalie and the far goal post early in the period.

A few shifts later, Nazem Kardi was stoned by Mrazek on a breakaway, which was then followed by the Wings’ best chance of the period. At the other end, Tomas Tatar slid a shot underneath Jonathan Bernier only to be kept out of the net by defenseman Martin Marincin, who swept the puck back under the Leafs’ goalie.

The Leafs’s Ben Smith had a goal disallowed when referee Gord Dwyer determined it was directed in off the forward’s left shoulder by a distinct pushing motion. The play was reviewed in Toronto, where Dwyer’s call was reaffirmed.

The league released the following statement on the review:

At 12:58 of the first period in the Maple Leafs/Red Wings game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Toronto's Ben Smith batted the puck into the Detroit net with his shoulder. According to Rule 78.5 (i) "Apparent goals shall be disallowed when the puck has been directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player other than with a stick." No goal Toronto.

Pavel Datsyuk left the game with a few minutes left in the period after he was roughed up in the corner by Leafs center Leo Komarov, and stepped on by Kadri, who's skate appeared to go into the back of Datsyuk's left knee.




SHOTS: Detroit 9, Toronto 12.

The Red Wings tied the Leafs in disallowed goals in the game though referee Marc Joannete initially signaled a Detroit goal. However, a review of the goal determined that the puck was directed into the net by Glendening’s pushing motion with his hand.

Detroit’s public-relations staff announced that Datsyuk suffered an upper-body injury and his return to the game was questionable. Well, the Wings’ Magic Man did return when with 8:32 left in the period he was back on the ice during a TV timeout, but Kyle Quincey’s interference penalty kept him on the bench for a few more minutes. Datsyuk finally skated his first shift of the second period with 4:59 left.

With 29.5 seconds left, the Leafs scored on a controversial play. Michael Grabner, who had gone 30 games without a goal was awarded his first goal since Jan. 2. At first, the on-ice officials signed a penalty shot for Grabner who was taken down from behind by DeKeyser as he skated in alone on Mrazek. The puck still went into the back of the net.

For the third time in the night, a play was send to Toronto for review, and it was determined to be a good goal for the Leafs.

The league released the following statement on the review:

At 19:30 of the second period in the Maple Leafs/Red Wings game, video review determined that the puck entered the Detroit net in a legal fashion prior to the net being displaced. According to Rule 78.4 "The goal frame shall be considered in its proper position when at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still inside both the goal post and the hole in the ice." Good goal Toronto.


SCORING: 1. TOR, Grabner (Parenteau), 19:30.

PENALTIES: 1. DET, Abdelkader (tripping), 0:28; 2. TOR, Carrick (interference), 5:13; 3. DET, Quincey (tripping), 11:36; 4. TOR, Parenteau (holding the stick), 17:08.

SHOTS: Detroit 11 (20), Toronto 7 (19).

With about eight minutes to go, the Red Wings made a bid to tie the score when Brendan Smith buzzed the net before finding Mike Green open in the slot. But he couldn’t handle the puck cleanly to get off a shot in time to beat Bernier who had fallen and was out of position.

The Red Wings lifted Mrazek with an extra attacker with 1:40 left on the game clock.
Detroit used five forward with Green as the lone defenseman but the Leafs managed to ice the puck, and with 44 seconds left the Wings called a timeout.

Bernier’s 38-save shutout marks just the second time the Leafs have blanked the Red Wings in nearly 30 years. Curtis Joseph made 29 stops in a 3-0 win at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 6, 2000 to record the only other Leafs’ shutout since Nov. 1986.



PENALTIES: 1. TOR, Holland (hooking), 6:49.

SHOTS: Detroit 18 (38), Toronto 8 (27).

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