Tavares, Mrazek help Maple Leafs hold off Red Wings, 5-4
TORONTO (AP) — John Tavares had a goal and two assists and Petr Mrazek made 26 saves for his first victory with Toronto in the Maple Leafs’ 5-4 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Jake Muzzin and Alexander Kerfoot each had a goal and an assist,
“Some mixed emotions,” Muzzin said. “We’ll take the win. We did a lot of good things. But we definitely have to tighten some things up and play better with the lead.”
Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting also scored to help Toronto improve to 4-4-1.
“We just played quick,” Tavares said about his line with Kerfoot and Marner after combining for six points. “We’re just trying to keep things simple and get to our strengths.”
Joe Veleno and Filip Zadina had a goal and an assist apiece and Vladislav Namestnikov and Filip Hronek added goals for Detroit. Thomas Greiss stopped 33 shots.
The Red Wings dropped to 4-3-2. They played without scoring leader Tyler Bertuzzi because he has declined to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and is unable to travel to Canada without a 14-day quarantine.
Bunting snapped a 1-1 tie — and Toronto’s 0-for-17 stretch with the man advantage over the last six games — when he redirected Jason Spezza’s slap pass with 17.1 seconds left in second period on the Maple Leafs’ first power play.
Kerfoot made it 3-1 just 17 seconds into the third when he took a pass from Tavares and beat Greiss. Detroit got back within one 1:19 later when Veleno took a pass from Michael Rasmussen and beat Mrazek.
After the Maple Leafs killed off a penalty, Tavares scored off Kerfoot’s pass on a 2-on-1 to make it 4-2 at 7:47. But the Red Wings responded at 10:11 on Namestnikov’s redirection.
Marner made it a two-goal lead with 2:05 left with his first goal in 17 games darting to last season. Hronek made it 5-4 with Greiss off for an extra attacker.
Detroit: At Montreal on Tuesday night.
Toronto: Host Vegas on Tuesday night.
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