Tomas Kaberle, Kris Versteeg each have goal, assist in Maple Leafs’ 4-2 win over Red Wings

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kaberle, Versteeg lead Maple Leafs past Red Wings

TORONTO — Tomas Kaberle and Kris Versteeg each had a goal and an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs used a strong power play to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 Saturday night.

Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak also had goals for Toronto (5-3-1), which went 3 for 6 with the man advantage. Phil Kessel added three assists.

Cory Emmerton and Tomas Tatar scored for the Red Wings (3-4-0).

The Maple Leafs wrapped up a busy of stretch of nine preseason games in 12 days, and didn’t have much trouble with a team that more closely resembled Detroit’s AHL affiliate than one of the Western Conference powerhouses.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock dressed only six or seven players who will open the regular season in the NHL. One of the veterans he sent in was Jimmy Howard because he wanted the No. 1 goalie to face a lot of shots. Babcock was likely hoping for a few more saves.

Detroit briefly held a 1-0 lead courtesy of a power-play goal by Emmerton, but Toronto quickly took back the momentum. MacArthur made it 1-1 at 14:19 of the first period after linemate Mikhail Grabovski found him open in the slot.

The Leafs went ahead 2-1 on another goal created from the rush. Bozak saw a pass intended for Kessel deflected off a Detroit player and in.

A pair of power-play goals in the second period by Toronto put the game out of reach. Defenseman Dion Phaneuf was standing in front of the net for both of them — causing some havoc when Versteeg cashed in a rebound at 4:41 and screening Howard when Kaberle’s point shot found its way through at 11:41.

It was an encouraging sign for the Leafs, who were ranked 30th on the power play last season.

Leafs coach Ron Wilson replaced starting goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere with backup Jussi Rynnas to start the third period. The only goal the Finn surrendered was to Tatar on a power play that came after Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn took exception to a hit from Justin Abdelkader and went after the Detroit forward.

Schenn was assessed 19 minutes in penalties on the one play — two for unsportsmanlike conduct, two for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.

It didn’t hurt the team much. The crowd at Air Canada Centre rose to its feet as the final seconds ticked away on the preseason schedule.

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