Franzen Scores Two, Leaves Game, as Red Wings Down Leafs

Detroit’s Johan Franzen scores two goals on Friday night before leaving the game with leg spasms, and his teammates added two more as the Red Wings rolled to a 4-1 win over the host Toronto Maple Leafs.

Henrik Zetterberg assisted on all four goals, rebounding from a bad game against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

Franzen opened the game’s scoring at the midway point of the first period. Zetterberg forced a turnover behind the Toronto net by defenseman Roman Polak, then carried the puck into the right wing corner, where he spun and sent a pass to Franzen at the edge of the crease to bat past goalie James Reimer.

At 5:42 of the second period, Zetterberg corralled the puck after it flipped through the air and cut from the left faceoff circle to the net. He couldn’t get a shot off, but he dropped a no-look pass to Franzen who lifted a shot over the sprawling Reimer.

Franzen crashed heavily into the boards on the play. He would continue for several more shifts before leaving the game with roughly four minutes remaining in the period

Gustav Nyquist made it 3-0 with his fourth goal in as many games. Zetterberg again collected a loose puck in the left circle and looped through it, waiting for a streaking Nyquist to get into the slot and take a pass, kicking it from his skate to his stick and firing a shot past Reimer with 1:44 remaining.

Toronto’s Mike Santorelli made it 3-1 just 21 seconds into the third period. On a three-on-two break, Santorelli drove to the net to take a pass from Leo Komarov and flick a shot past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

The Red Wings restored their lead at 5:51 of the period, when Nyquist threaded a pass from the bottom of the right circle to Justin Abdelkader at the top of the crease for a tip past Reimer.

Reimer finished the night with 31 saves on 35 shots against while Howard stopped 23 of 24 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. The Red Wings had five chances with the extra attacker to the Maple Leafs’ two.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday night in Detroit.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Maple Leafs – 10/17

It’s the first game of a home-and-home tonight as the Red Wings visit the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s also Detroit’s first road game of the season after going 1-1-1 at home to start the campaign.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are 29-44-15 all-time in their first road game of the season.

The Red Wings will roll the same lineup as they’ve used in the first three games, including Justin Abdelkader on the third line. Abdelkader skipped practice on Thursday, replaced by Stephen Weiss, but was good to go for the Friday morning skate.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.