Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the Detroit Red Wings

Trending: Matthews burns Wings in final minute

Mantha gets first 20-goal season in NHL

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- The Toronto Maple Leafs have an elite game-breaker in Auston Matthews and he showed why.

Matthews broke a 2-2 tie with 30.2 seconds left in the third period to give the Leafs a 3-2 victory Sunday night at Little Caesars Arena.

In six career games against the Red Wings, Matthews has seven goals and two assists. It was Matthews' 27th goal in his 51st game of the season.

The Wings fell to 24-25-9 overall and 12-12-7 at home while the Leafs improved to 36-20-5 overall and 17-12-3 on the road.

Anthony Mantha and Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit while James van Riemsdyk, Mitch Marner and Matthews scored for Toronto.

Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall played in his 850th career game and he is now third all-time among Wings blue liners.

1. Anthony Mantha: Mantha was an incredibly prolific goal scorer in junior hockey, scoring 50 and 57 goals in consecutive seasons for Val d'Or. But it's much more challenging to score at that pace in the professional ranks. Mantha had 21 goals in 60 games for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins in the 2015-16 season. Mantha probably could have reached 20 goals last season had he not suffered a broken finger fighting Luke Witkowski, then with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Instead he settled for 17 in 60 games. Mantha has led the Red Wings in goals all season and became the first Wings player to reach 20 goals when he deflected Gustav Nyquist's shot past Toronto goalie Curtis McElhinney at 5:51 of the second period on the power play. Tomas Tatar got the second assist. Mantha also tied his point total of 36 in his 56th game of the season. Mantha has four goals and two assists in his last six games.

Quotable: "Obviously, it feels good. I don't want to stop here, that's for sure. I would rather get the two points tonight than that 20th." - Mantha

Quotable II: "I think it's a good step. I think one of the big things, and I'll talk to him about, is he's scored lots of goals standing in front of the goalie, and I think when you learn to embrace that as a player - I don't think it was a natural thing for him - they got a guy in van Riemsdyk who consistently scores around 30 because he's real good in front of the net. I think Anthony is hopefully seeing that, just by being in front of the net, you can increase your goal totals a ton, so I think it's a good reinforcement of what that net presence and that spot on the power play means." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill

2. Petr Mrazek : Mrazek was starting back-to-back games for the third time this season. After making 31 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators, Mrazek got the nod again at home against the Maple Leafs. Mrazek had no chance on Toronto's first goal as van Riemsdyk deflected Jake Gardiner's shot to tie the game at 1-1 at 7:02 of the second period. Marner skated around to the left circle and scored 18 seconds later. Mrazek had some spectacular saves, especially on Patrick Marleau when the Leafs were on the power play midway through the second. He stopped Matthews at the net at 6:04 but couldn't do so with 30.2 seconds left in regulation. Mrazek finished with 31 saves.

Quotable: "I just tried to play (William) Nylander there, I didn't see Matthews, he went through DK (Danny DeKeyser). It was a nice shot by him, he put it in the top corner." - Mrazek on the game-winner

Quotable II: "Pete was real good. He made two huge saves in the third period with the breakaway and the backdoor saves. Those were two huge saves in the third to put us in position to try to win the hockey game. I talked to both goalies coming out of the All-Star break and said I'm going to play the hot goalie. What constitutes hot? I don't know, I'll make those decisions as I move along. I'm happy with where both guys are at." - Blashill

3. Henrik Zetterberg: Zetterberg is known for finding his linemates for fantastic scoring chances, but this time, he was the beneficiary of a nice pass instead. With the Red Wings trailing 2-1, Nyquist saw Zetterberg at the left doorstep and Zetterberg easily scored at 9:17 of the third period. Darren Helm got the second assist. Zetterberg now has 334 goals, one shy of tying Ted Lindsay for fifth in franchise history in goals.

Quotable: "I thought we came out pretty decent. Maybe they took over a little bit in the second half of the first, but overall it was a pretty even game. PK did a good job, nice to see that we got one on the power play. I thought in the third, we played a little better, kept it a little more simple, getting to their end a little bit more. Basically whoever got through the neutral zone and played in the offensive end made a lot of plays. Two teams that play pretty much the same structurally so we knew it was going to be a tight game." - Zetterberg

View More