The first period in Toronto was fairly evenly matched; Detroit held a 10-8 shot advantage in a goalless frame. Petr Mrazek and James Reimer matched each other opportunity-for-opportunity. It was a clean period, too: only one penalty was called, and it was on Toronto’s Nazem Kadri. The ensuing power play was promptly killed.
The Wings stayed in it until more than halfway through the second period, doing just enough to keep it scoreless. Petr Mrazek continued to make key saves in a game that felt more intense than other preseason contests. But at 14:19, the Leafs broke through, as Josh Leivo tucked one past Mrazek. Assists went to Cody Franson and Andrew McWilliam. Less than three minutes later, Xavier Ouellet was sent to the box for hooking, and John-Michael Liles capitalized, making it 2-0 at 17:09. The lone assist went to Joe Colborne (who was traded to Calgary after the game). Despite a 20-18 shot advantage through 40 minutes, the Wings trailed 2-0 after two.
Jared Coreau replaced Mrazek at the outset of the third, and received his only blemish at 9:48 of the third, when Josh Leivo scored his second of the game, assisted by Liles and Colborne. A glimmer of hope emerged at 16:00, when Mitch Callahan scored to cut the deficit to two. Tomas Jurco and Jakub Kindl assisted. The Wings could not cut the deficit further, and lost by that 3-1 score.
Detroit’s preseason is over; the Wings finish an unimpressive 3-5-0, but the preseason is about getting guys back to full-speed and giving young guys a chance to impress, not playing Datsyuk/Zetterberg for 25 minutes every night. Now it’s time to decide which borderline players actually make the team and which ones go to Grand Rapids to further tune up with the reigning Calder Cup champions. It’s almost time, folks.