Red Wings Rally, Still Fall to Maple Leafs 4-3

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 3-0 deficit Saturday night but allowed a late goal in a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Joffrey Lupul lifted a backhander from in close over a sprawling Jimmy Howard for what ended up being the game-winner at 7:10 of the third period. Lupul had picked off Niklas Kronwall‘s weak clearing attempt off the left boards and jumped out to the front of the net all alone. Howard went down quickly and gave Lupul the top half of the net, which he hit.

Phil Kessel had opened the scoring at 4:30 of the first period. Kessel broke in alone on Howard and shook off a slight hook from Ian White to get a shot off. Howard made the save but Kessel was given a penalty shot.

On the penalty shot attempt, Kessel faked out Howard and roofed a shot over him.

Dion Phaneuf made it 2-0 at 8:19 of the period on a Toronto power play. Danny Cleary‘s clearing attempt from the side of the goal went right to Phaneuf just inside the blue line. He rifled a shot right back past Howard.

David Steckel finished an odd-man rush by tapping in a centering pass from Lupul with 8:24 to give the Maple Leafs their initial three-goal lead.

Todd Berutzzi started the Detroit comeback at 6:46 of the second period, deflecting a Pavel Datsyuk shot past Jonas Gustavsson. The goal stood after video review to see if it was hit by a high stick.

Kronwall drove to the net and banged the puck past Gustavsson to pull the Red Wings within a goal with 4:11 remaining in the period.

Jiri Hudler completed the comeback at 4:32 of the third, knocking the rebound of a Brad Stuart shot past Gustavsson from the side of the net.

Howard faced only 18 Toronto shots on the night, stopping 14. Gustavsson made 37 of 40 stops.

The Maple Leafs had only two shots in the second period, compared to 14 for Detroit as the Red Wings began their comeback.

Each team had one power play try. The Maple Leafs scored on theirs while the Red Wings did not. The Leafs also had their penalty shot goal.

The Red Wings are back in action on Sunday when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks.

Author: Clark Rasmussen

Clark founded the site that would become DetroitHockey.Net in September of 1996 with no idea what it would lead to. He continues to write for the site and executes the site's design and development.

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