DETROIT __ In the first game of a home-and-home preseason series of Original Six teams, special teams dominated the action between the Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Trailing twice, the Wings bounced back each time, on special teams goals by Dan Cleary (short-handed) and Niklas Knonwall (power-play), to tie the score. Detroit then took its first lead in the third period and added another goal for good-measure in a 4-2 win at Joe Louis Arena. Johan Franzen
and Krys Kolanos accounted for the third period tallies.
Though they were out-shot in the first period, 13-5, the Wings got a break early in the second, thanks to a miscue by Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft, who whiffed on a clearing pass from behind his own net while on the power-play. Cleary swooped in behind Raycroft, picked-up the loose puck and banked a shot, from an improbable angle off the goalie for a 1-1 tie.
Toronto regained its lead, 2-1, three-minutes later when, on another power-play, Bryan McCabe whistled a shot from the right point that beat Wings goalie Dominik Hasek. Kronwall buried a shot into the top net at 14:07 of the second, knotting the score at 2-2. The Leafs (3-4) dominated the play early on, grabbing a 1-0 lead on their first power-play chance of the first period. Right wing John Pohl knocked in his own rebound at 9:32 of the first.
Both teams will conclude the preseason schedule with a game on Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre. The Wings, 5-1-2 in the season, will open the 2006-07 season on Thursday when they host the Vancouver Canucks at 7 p.m.