By Carlos Monarrez/Detroit Free Press
One day after the Detroit Red Wings put together an impressive performance against the New York Rangers, they were stymied against the NHL’s worst team.
The Wings had their chances but failed to get any of their 38 shots past Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier in Sunday night’s 1-0 loss to the Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena.
After a scoreless first period, the Leafs (23-34-11) took a 1-0 lead with 29.5 seconds left in the second period.
Shortly after the Wings’ power play expired, Michael Grabner darted in on Petr Mrazek on a breakaway. Danny DeKeyser trailed closely and was able to pulled down Grabner just as he approached Mrazek. Grabner and the puck went sliding past Mrazek and into the net.After review, the goal was verified.
Grabner was able to break free when DeKeyser’s pass at the Leafs’ blue line was deflected. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau got the puck and threaded a beautiful pass that sprung a streaking Grabner.Wings coach Jeff Blashill gave Mrazek the start on consecutive days based on the lack of travel and Mrazek’s hot streak over the past two games.
Mrazek rewarded Blashill early in the first period when he stopped Nazem Kadri on a breakaway off a great outlet pass. Kadri deked to Mrazek’s left, but the goalie slapped down his pad and stoned the shot.
Mrazek made 26 saves.
The Wings (34-24-11) struggled again on the power play. They managed only one shot on their first two power plays. In the third period, they did better. With Peter Holland off for hooking, the Wings moved the puck well and got off three shots.
The Maple Leafs almost kicked off the scoring at 12:58 of the first period. As they skated into the zone, Zach Hyman snapped off a shot from the slot. Mrazek deflected the shot but right at Ben Smith, who used his shoulder to illegally bat the puck back past Mrazek. The goal was immediately waved off.
Darren Helm, who scored twice in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win over the Rangers, did not play because of the flu.
The Wings had a slight scare when Pavel Datsyuk went down at the end of the first period. He was listed as having an upper-body injury was listed as questionable to return.
Datsyuk, fourth on the team with 38 points, returned late in the second period and played on the final power play of the period.Datsyuk appeared to suffer the injury when he got tangled along the boards with Kadri and Leo Komarov. All three players spilled to the ice. As Datsyuk fell over Kadri, Komarov fell forward and on top of Datsyuk’s back.
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