William Nylander powers Maple Leafs over Red Wings 3-2 in Sweden
Toronto's William Nylander in action during the NHL Global Series Sweden ice hockey match between Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings and at Avicii Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, Friday Nov. 17, 2023. (Henrik Montgomery/TT News Agency via AP)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, November 17, 2023 5:46PM EST
STOCKHOLM - William Nylander and John Tavares each had a goal and two assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs roared back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in Sweden on Friday.
Tyler Bertuzzi had the other goal to go along with an assist for Toronto (9-5-3), which got 27 saves from Ilya Samsonov in the Leafs' first regular-season game outside North America.
Nylander, playing on home soil in the NHL for the first time, extended his franchise record for consecutive games with at least a point to start a season to 16 games.
Lucas Raymond and Daniel Sprong replied for Detroit (8-6-3). The Wings opened the four-game NHL Global Series with Thursday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Alex Lyon made 26 saves at Avicii Arena.
Down 2-0 through 40 minutes, Toronto got on the board at 3:50 of the third period when Nylander wheeled around the offensive zone and put the puck right on Bertuzzi's stick for him to tap home his fourth goal of the season.
David Kampf then rattled Lyon's crossbar as the Leafs continued to turn the screw on an opponent playing for the second time in 24 hours.
Lyon stopped two chances off the stick of Auston Matthews, but Nylander tied it 2-2 at 13:03 on a power play when he fired his 11th upstairs off a Mitch Marner feed.
Tavares then put Toronto in front for the first time just 1:24 later when he took a pass from Bertuzzi after the winger won a puck battle behind the Wings net before the Leafs held on late.
Detroit, which fell behind Ottawa 4-0 before rallying to earn a point, played with much more structure than Thursday's performance against another Atlantic Division rival on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
After the Leafs were denied a Marner goal in the second on a sequence where Lyon's net was dislodged, Detroit took the lead on Sprong's penalty shot - the first successful attempt outside North America in NHL history.
The Wings forward moved in on Samsonov and deked the Toronto goaltender to the ice and scored his fifth goal of the season at 12:52 after Toronto defenceman Morgan Rielly closed his hand on the puck in the crease.
Detroit made it 2-0 just 1:52 later when Raymond, who started his team's comeback Thursday, fired his seventh home on a shot that went under Samsonov's glove and in off the post.
Lyon, who made his first start of the season after signing in the summer following a long playoff run with the Florida Panthers, didn't have a lot to do at the other end before the Leafs finally started to push in the third.
Anders Salming, the son of Leafs legend Borje Salming, dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff. The elder Salming, who died last November at age 71, played 16 seasons for Toronto and was the first European inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Wings lost defenceman Jake Walman after he crashed into the net on the sequence where Marner's potential goal was disallowed.
KLINGBERG, REAVES SIT
Leafs defenceman John Klingberg - one of five Swedes on the roster - sat out for the second time in the last three games with an undisclosed injury. Toronto enforcer Ryan Reaves was a healthy scratch for a second straight contest.
Leafs great Mats Sundin joined the team's staff, including general manager Brad Treliving and president Brendan Shanahan for dinner Thursday. “Some good old stories,” Keefe said. “He's a proud Maple Leaf.” Sundin also read out the starting lineup in Toronto's locker room before the game.
The Leafs play the Minnesota Wild in Stockholm on Sunday, while the Wings host the New Jersey Devils in Detroit on Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2023.