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Big Three score early, Murray shuts the door late, Maple Leafs beat Red Wings

Mitch Marner gets #17

Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 28: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates a goal against the Detroit Red Wings during first period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on November 28, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan.
Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs handily beat the Detroit Red Wings by the score of 4-2. All three of Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner scored for the Leafs for the second straight game for the first time in their careers. Matthews got his 11th of the season, Nylander got his 150th career NHL goal, and Marner scored to extend his point streak to 17 games, one back of Sittler and Olczyk’s 18. On the back end, Rasmus Sandin scored, while Mac Hollowell also earned his first career NHL assist in the win.

Mat Murray stopped 41 of 43 shots, including keeping all nets on their rungs, as the Leafs got shelled in the first period but kept scoring throughout the game anyway. It was a fun night where the Red Wings can say they played better despite their big mistakes, while the Leafs took advantage of those big mistakes.

First Period

0-1

A turnover in the offensive zone gave the Red Wings a 2-on-1 the other way. Larkin took the shot and Murray couldn’t smother it. It trickled through and eventually Moritz Seider banged it home. The Leafs had sticks in the area, Hollowell did his honest best, but no one got the puck out.

And then a penalty kill as Sandin got called for hooking Veleno. The Leafs kill it off without giving up a single shot.

1-1

AUSTON RIPS IT! You might not feel it just yet, but Auston Matthews is red hot, and this goal is a sign of what’s to come. And incredible release, supported by Bunting with the pass and Nylander dragging Joe Veleno towards the net with his drive. Hollowell got his first point on the goal.

2-1

WILLY HITS 150 OFF THE ROOF! Immediately after, Matthews winger finds a rebound around Ben Chiarot (lmao) and roofs the rebound for his 150th career NHL goal and 13th of the season — a team lead.

After One

So let’s talk about the first period. The Leafs had about 3% of the expected goals with their eight shots to the Red Wings 18. The Wings had a lot happening around Murray’s net, lots of rebounds. While the Leafs ended up on the rush a lot more the other way. The offense was a little below standards, the defense not great as well, but the Leafs were getting chances so I didn’t mind it too much. They were breaking through big mistakes, and almost breaking through on regular defenses. Adjustments helped things work out in the latter two periods.

Second Period

3-1

MARNER SHOTS AND SCORES FOR 17!! Giordano established the zone on a line change as the Red Wings didn’t seem interested in pressuring the defender out of fear he’ll, I don’t know, dump it in or something. Marner rushed up from behind and gave Gio an option. Coming in with speed, Marner made a move to the middle and took a shot that got through Ville Husso under the elbow. He’s now one back of Sittler and Olczyk for a share of the franchise record.

Not for a lack of effort, Tavares wanted to get in on the scoring action, but hit the post.

4-1

Sandin did make it a 4-1 game with his point shot through a crowd as the Leafs were buzzing in the offensive zone. Lots of good positioning and passing from the Leafs. This goal also saw Husso get pulled for Alex Nedeljkovic, who has statistically been the worst goalie in the NHL this year. Playing in front of Detroit’s defense probably hasn’t helped him.

“When the Red Wings lose, they lose big.” Yes, that is a true statement and the first half of the game was definitely showing it. Also, I finally know what it’s like to be on the other side of a frustrating loss.

Yeah this was pretty bad, but a tired Marner drew a tripping call on the Wings, which angered Larkin a lot.

After Two

Tavares almost scored twice in the period as the Leafs played the period even (50% xG) while padding their lead with two more goals. Also this stat below is fun.

Third Period

It was a penalty, Bunts. But I like the energy in a 4-1 game.

4-2

A long shot gets tipped through with seven minutes left in the game. The Leafs were playing pretty well up to that point but were giving up some sustained pressure.

The Leafs got their offense going again in the last few minutes as Bunting fed Matthews for a great shot that skimmed over the crossbar.

The Red Wings pulled their goalie with two and a half minutes to go.

Lots of perimeter shots, but Liljegren, Mete, Matthews, and Murray closed off all rebounds. Imagine saying that a year ago. Haha.

Murray makes a couple late saves, including one ala Marc-Andre Fleury against a very different Red Wings team back in the day. Leafs win!