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Lupul nets winner in third as Toronto edges Detroit

Jan 8, 2012 - 4:33 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Joffrey Lupul scored the go-ahead goal seven minutes into the third period, and the Maple Leafs held on for a 4-3 victory over the Red Wings.

Phil Kessel scored on a penalty shot, Dion Phaneuf tallied during a power play, and David Steckel also lit the lamp for Toronto, which is 3-0-0 during its four-game homestand. The Leafs next face Buffalo on Tuesday in the opener of a home-and-home.

Toronto, which got 37 saves from Jonas Gustavsson, has also won four consecutive home games against Detroit. The Red Wings haven't beaten the Leafs in Toronto since November 16, 2002.

Jimmy Howard allowed four goals on only 18 shots for Detroit, which had won four of five.

The Red Wings faced a three-goal deficit after the first period, but rallied from behind and drew even on Jiri Hudler's wrister 4:32 into the third period.

However, Lupul gave the Leafs another lead thanks to a turnover. Just after a left-circle faceoff in the Red Wings' zone, Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall caught up to the puck behind the goal line and tried to send the puck around the boards.

But his weak attempt bounced to Lupul, who skated from behind the net on the right side and lifted a backhander over Howard at 7:10. Gustavsson was tested in the remaining time, but made 15 saves in the third period to help secure the victory.

"They had 16 shots and maybe three quality scoring chances. I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping them on the outside," Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said. "They had some obviously scary moments; that one chance with about 40 seconds to go made my heart stop. But the monster (Gustavsson) came up big."

Toronto built a lead with three first-period goals. Kessel earned a penalty shot at 4:30 and cashed in, stick-handling near the net to get Howard off balance before wristing a shot past the goaltender's glove.

The Leafs went on the man advantage when Henrik Zetterberg was whistled for stick-holding at 8:12, and Phaneuf scored only seven seconds in. He kept a clearing attempt in the zone by the right point, then blasted a shot through traffic.

Steckel scored during a counter-rush at 11:36 to make it a 3-0 game.

But the Red Wings chipped away, getting on the board on Todd Bertuzzi's tip-in at 6:46 of the second period. With just more than four minutes left in the period, Kronwall skated in from the left side and netted a backhander.

Game Notes

Detroit fell to 1-1-0 during its four-game road trip, which continues Sunday in Chicago...Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen each had two assists for the Red Wings...Lupul and Kessel assisted on Steckel's tally.