Second line looks solid in Wings' win over Leafs
DETROIT -- Dressing their most complete lineup of the preseason, the Red Wings defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 Friday night before a raucous crowd at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit’s high-paced offense scored three power-plays goals -- by Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson, and Johan Franzen -- along with even-strength tallies by Joakim Andersson and Luke Glendenning.
As encouraging as it was to see the power play clicking, the story of this game was the play of Detroit’s second line: Stephen Weiss, Franzen and Alfredsson.
Playing in only his second game of the preseason, Alfredsson didn’t seem out of place with his linemates, as they generated several scoring chances.
“We didn’t really know what to expect," Alfredsson said about playing with Weiss and Franzen for the first time. "We just told ourselves, 'Let’s do what we can do and not worry too much.'
“We did a good job of getting open and wanting the puck. That’s so important in today’s game -- to have the puck. It makes the game so much easier.”
What was a promising debut for the trio could have ended up in disappointment. Weiss didn’t return for the third period after tweaking his groin in the second, but he didn't sound too concerned after the game.
“I feel pretty good," he said. "Just a little something going on there, decided to shut it down in the third and make sure we're ready for Wednesday (the regular-season opener vs. Buffalo).
“It's just precautionary stuff. I played a lot of hockey lately. Just trying to make sure we're fresh and ready to go for Wednesday, when we start for real. I'm 100 percent."
Like Weiss, Alfredsson has had a groin issue, but after the Friday’s game, the Swedish sniper said he feels healthy.
“I am pretty good to go,” Alfredsson said. “I practiced the last few days here and everything’s been good. I played a full game today with no issues, so I’m good to go.”
Detroit is counting heavily on their second line to generate offense this season, and Wings coach Mike Babcock liked what he saw from the Mule, Alfie and Weiss.
“Those guys did a pretty good job here tonight,” Babcock said. “Weiss was real competitive, made some good plays.
"Obviously, Alfredsson is real smart, and the Mule worked real hard tonight. We have a real good line there. It’s a sign of, hopefully, what’s to come.”
With the victory, the Wings snapped a three-game home preseason losing streak and upped their preseason record to 3-4. Detroit will close out the preseason with a Saturday night game in Toronto.
“It was important that we played an NHL game against an NHL team,” Babcock said. “I didn’t think we were great in the first period, but we got better as the game went on.”