Maple Leafs look ready for regular season

Toronto power play shines in 5-1 win over Detroit

The Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate after an Auston Matthews goal
Auston Matthews celebrates with teammates after a goal during the Toronto Maple Leafs' 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena. (Photo courtesy Maple Leafs Twitter) 

Auston Matthews and William Nylander each scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs knocked off the Detroit Red Wings 5-1 in Saturday night pre-season action at Scotiabank Arena. 

In the Leafs’ final tune-up game of 2022, Matthews scored his first and second goals of the pre-season — both on the power play — helping Toronto (5-2) bounce back from a loss Friday night in Detroit (3-5). 

Nylander’s two goals gave him four in the exhibition schedule, tying him for the team lead with Denis Malgin who also scored his fourth in the win. 

Matt Murray (3-0-0) continued his strong play in blue and white, stopping 18 of the 19 shots he faced. 

Jussi Olkinuora played the first half of the game in net for Detroit and allowed two goals on 15 shots  — before giving way to Victor Brattstrom who gave up three goals on 11 shots.

Pius Suter scored the lone goal for Detroit, beating Murray to open the scoring after a neutral zone turnover gave the Red Wings an odd-man advantage and Adam Erne found Suter in the slot. 

Matthews, meanwhile, made his mark early. He was all over the ice with three shot attempts in the opening 10 minutes, setting the tone for his outstanding performance. 

Nylander provided an answer for Toronto nearly four minutes later by carrying the puck into the offensive end and putting a wrist shot into the top corner.

In the second period, Malgin continued his bid for one of Toronto’s final roster spots with a highlight reel goal. He picked up the puck at his own blueline, beat a Detroit defender and shot past Olkinuora on the breakaway to put the Leafs ahead. 

Toronto controlled the action throughout the third period.

Nylander found the back of the net for the second time in the game. His fourth of the preseason came after a puck came loose near the right slot and he beat a sliding Brattstrom on the far side. 

Both of Matthews’ goals came in the third period. Toronto’s top power play unit looked solid as Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly assisted on both markers.

NOTES: The Red Wings open their regular season schedule on Oct 14. at home against the Montreal Canadiens … Toronto starts its season against the Habs in Montreal on Oct 12.

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Posted: Oct 8 2022 10:18 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports Toronto Maple Leafs