DETROIT - The Mike Babcock-coached Toronto Maple Leafs were going to be a tough challenge any night, but especially on the second night of a back-to-back.
After losing 4-3 in overtime in Boston Tuesday, the Wings were shut out by Frederik Andersen (22 saves) and the Maple Leafs, 4-0, at Joe Louis Arena Wednesday night.
Wings coach Jeff Blashill said after the game that he expects Dylan Larkin, who suffered an upper-body injury at the end of Sunday's game against the New York Rangers, to be back after the All-Star break.
1. Thomas Vanek : Vanek, who missed the game in Boston with a lower-body injury suffered at the end of the first period Sunday against the Rangers, returned to the lineup against the Maple Leafs. Vanek was originally on a line with Frans Nielsen and Tomas Jurco. Later in the game, Andreas Athanasiou returned to that line. Vanek played 14:32 and had two shots on goal.
Quotable: "I thought Vanek played real well. He creates lots of things and he did again tonight and I thought for a guy coming off an injury played real well." - Blashill
2. Shutouts: The shutout marked the seventh time in 49 games that the Wings have been blanked this season. It was the second time in three games they have not scored. New York's Henrik Lundqvist shut them out last Sunday.
Quotable: "I thought the first period was real tight checking. We made a mistake there and it was in our net but I thought neither team had a lot of chances. It was real tight checking. I thought in the second, we weren't fast enough in our D zone so as a result we spent too much time in our D zone. I thought in the third we came out and pushed real hard. I thought we had some real chances and then they were able to score and it took the wind out of our sails." - Blashill
Quotable II: "I don't know if we had enough zone time, I don't know if we had enough shots. I think we passed up a few shots, especially in the second period when we had some things going. But we ended up turning it over and they came over us. But again, we got to be faster out of our own zone." - Niklas Kronwall
3. Auston Matthews: The Wings don't have to do a lot of analysis to figure out that Matthews is going to be difficult to contend with for a long time. The No. 1 overall pick in this past summer's draft scored the game's first goal at 5:30 of the first on a nice backhand shot. Matthews, 19, has 23 goals and 39 points in 46 games. He is third in the league in goals behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (28 goals), Los Angeles' Jeff Carter (24) and Columbus' Cam Atkinson (24). In two games against the Wings, Matthews has three goals, including the overtime game-winner in the Centennial Classic.
Quotable: "He's good. He's big, strong. He has a good shot, passes the puck. He's going to be a good player for many, many years." - Henrik Zetterberg