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Red Wings finally solve Maple Leafs puzzle in 4-1 win

Detroit beat Toronto in regulation for the first time since 2017

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Robby Fabbri, Red Wings
Red Wings forward Robby Fabbri has three goals in four games since returning from knee surgery.

The last time the Detroit Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, Donald Trump was in the White House and nobody had heard of COVID-19.

Until Thursday, that is. Detroit’s 4-1 victory ended Toronto’s nine-game regulation time winning streak against the Red Wings.

Sure, the Leafs were playing without Auston Matthews (undisclosed injury), a 20-goal scorer and last season’s Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP. No matter. Reggie Leach’s famous saying about goals also applies to victories.

They don’t ask you how you got ’em. They ask you how many you got.

Long Stretch Between Wins

During Toronto’s nine wins in a row in regulation over Detroit, the Leafs were outscoring the Red Wings 48-21. The Maple Leafs are 18-2-2 vs. Detroit since the start of the 2016-17 season.

Detroit’s previous win against Toronto was a 3-2 overtime decision on Feb. 1, 2019. Prior to Thursday, Detroit had not won in regulation vs. Toronto since Dec. 15, 2017, a 3-1 triumph.

Only two teams have fashioned longer regulation-time win streaks against the Wings. Both the Edmonton Oilers (March 19, 1983 to March 11, 1987) and Chicago Blackhawks (April 8, 1970 to January 3, 1972) put together 13-game streaks. The Chicago run includes a four-game playoff sweep in 1970.

The Boston Bruins (October 11, 1970 to March 4, 1972) also put together a stretch of nine successive regulation-time wins over Detroit.

Red Wings Fabbri, Raymond Carrying Hot Sticks

For the third game in a row, Detroit took the lead. Lucas Raymond scored at 8:48 of the first period to put the Red Wings in front. It was his second goal in as many games and fourth in the last six games.

Detroit also led 1-0 Saturday at Toronto, but ended up losing 4-1. In this game, though, the Red Wings grabbed a 2-0 advantage at 3:49 of the second period when Robby Fabbri beat Toronto goalie Ilya Samsonov on a Red Wings power play. Fabbri scored for the third time in four games since returning Jan. 4 from knee surgery.

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Ben Chairot and Moritz Seider scored third-period goals for the Red Wings.

Detroit also halted Toronto’s three-game win streak. On Tuesday, a 7-5 victory by the Wings was ending the five-game win streak of the Winnipeg Jets.

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