Detroit Red Wings best Leafs on Red Kelly’s Jersey Retirement Night

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 01: Danny DeKeyser #65 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his game winning overtime goal while playing the Toronto Maple Leafs at Little Caesars Arena on February 01, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 01: Danny DeKeyser #65 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his game winning overtime goal while playing the Toronto Maple Leafs at Little Caesars Arena on February 01, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

For the third time this season a Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs match-up needed to be decided in extra time.  The Wings were able to edge out the Leafs 3-2 in overtime.

Coming off of a lengthy nine-day break the Detroit Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on the evening Red Kelly‘s number 4 was suspended high over the Little Caesars ice.  It was a fantastic night in Detroit with the jersey retirement for Mr. Kelly with both his former teams on the ice.  It took much to long for the Wings to retire number 4, but they finally got it right and having Toronto in attendance made it extra special.  His number has now been retired by both franchises.

Scotty Bowman, Alex Delvecchio, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Henrik Zetterberg were all in attendance for the ceremony tonight.  Mickey Redmond and Ken Daniels both did a terrific job hosting the event.

Scotty Bowman and Redmond both shared a few stories.  Bowman described a handful of players who were forwards over the years and moved back to play defense.  He mentioned Sergei Fedorov had that unique ability.  Bowman went on to say not many defensemen can move up and become a top center in the league.  Kelly won a Norris Trophy, the first ever awarded actually, along with 4 cups in Detroit as a defender. Later he would win 4 cups playing as a centerman for the Maple Leafs.

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An unlikely hero emerged tonight for the Detroit Red Wings.  Danny DeKeyser deposited the game-winning overtime goal off the toe of a sprawling Freddie Anderson and into the gaping goal.  Gustav Nyquist took the puck from the wall in the offensive zone and worked his way through traffic and feathered a magnificent pass to the wide-open Danny D.

We will work backward a bit tonight.  A scary scene occurred in the overtime frame just before the game-winning goal being scored.  Dylan Larkin was doing his Dylan Larkin thing tonight.  As Mickey Redmond likes to say on a regular basis on the Fox Sports Detroit telecast, Larkin has that diesel engine roaring again.

During the wide-open exciting three on three overtime, Larkin was giving it his all on a backcheck when he went to the ice in a tremendous amount of pain holding his side.  He refused to leave the ice as the Detroit Red Wings found themselves heading back towards the Leafs goal for a scoring chance.  Larkin would end the opportunity with a rip towards the breadbasket of the Leafs netminder Anderson.  He then would head to the Wings bench and immediately head down the tunnel and into the Detroit Red Wings locker room.

If there was one player, the Detroit Red Wings can’t afford to lose it is Dylan Larkin.  At the conclusion of the game, Jeff Blashill said he would know more on the status of Larkin tomorrow.  The good news is he will travel with the team to Ottawa for tomorrow’s game.  At this time we consider him a game-time decision.

Gustav Nyquist had it going tonight; he recorded the Detroit Red Wings first goal of the night, his 12th of the season.  He added that beautiful helper on the game-winning goal and was a plus 2 on the night.

Dylan Larkin had an excellent night playing head to head against Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs top line all night.  He was able to bury a power-play goal tonight.  Andreas Athanasiou had a spectacular evening assisting on all three of the Detroit Red Wings goals.

Double-A played north on 18 minutes tonight; he started the night on the third line with Glendening and Helm.  The trio skated hard and continued to be hard on the forecheck and created some turnovers and a lot of scoring chances.  Athanasiou skated with the top PP unit tonight, that group scored.  He played a few shifts during even strength with Larkin and Nyquist, a combination Jeff Blashill needs to consider going to much more often.

During the pregame, I mentioned if the game came down to special teams it wouldn’t bode well for the Wings.  I was wrong.  The Wings special teams would actually be the difference between winning and losing tonight.

The Toronto Maple Leafs went 0-5 on the power-play, or should I say the Wings went 5-5 on the penalty kill.  If you told me the Leafs would have 5 PP opportunities throughout the hockey game, I would have told you we lost by 3 goals.  The Detroit Red Wings PK led by Nick Jensen and Luke Glendening played terrific.  The Wings converted on one of their PP opportunities going 1-4 on the evening.

The Wings clearly won the special teams battle, and although they granted the Leafs 5 total PP opportunities, they held them to merely 21 shots on goal.  The Wings carried the play most of the night and recorded 33 shots.  A significant difference. It was an outstanding win for the Wings on a special night we will never forget.

dark. Next. Jeff Blashill should consider adjusting the top line

The Wings head to Ottawa tomorrow to take on the Senators.  Puck drop is set for 7 PM.