The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to end the regular season playing like they can’t wait for the playoffs to arrive, while the Detroit Red Wings continue to play like they can’t wait for the season to end.
Nazem Kadri scored the game-winning goal with 7:26 remaining to give the Leafs a 4-3 win over the Red Wings on Saturday at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
All but locked into the third position in the Atlantic Division for the playoffs, Toronto has now won six of its last seven games.
On the other side, the Red Wings have now lost 12 of their last 13 as they continue to amass ping pong balls for the draft lottery.
With the game tied 3-3, Patrick Marleau skated in on a 2-on-1 and fed a pass across the crease to Kadri, who buried the chance into an open net to give Toronto a 4-3 lead.
Toronto struck first with 5:30 remaining in the first period on a goal by Kasperi Kapanen, who took a pass from Tyler Bozak in the slot and slid the puck underneath Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard to make it 1-0.
The Red Wings tied the game at 1-1 with 15:28 left in the second when Dylan Larkin broke towards the Maple Leafs goal, fought off two defenders and beat Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen with a wrist shot.
Detroit then went ahead 2-1 with 10:23 remaining in the second on a goal by Tyler Bertuzzi, who redirected a shot from Danny DeKeyser past Andersen.
Toronto tied the game at 2-2 with 5:41 to go in the second on a goal by Connor Brown, who redirected a shot from Travis Dermott past Howard.
The Red Wings regained the lead at 3-2 with 15:02 remaining on a goal by Frans Nielsen, but the Maple Leafs tied the game at 3-3 with 12:33 left when William Nylander took a pass from Auston Matthews to the side of the Detroit goal, skated in and buried the chance to tie the game at 3-3.
Andersen had 38 saves in the win. Howard turned away 25 shots in defeat.
—Field Level Media