William Nylander extended his season-opening point streak to 16 games with a goal and two assists for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 at Avicii Arena in Stockholm on Friday in the second game of the 2023 NHL Global Series Sweden presented by Fastenal.
Nylander point streak at 16, sparks Maple Leafs past Red Wings in Global Series
Has goal, 2 assists in Sweden to lift Toronto to comeback; Raymond, Sprong score for Detroit
Nylander, who has 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) during the streak, helped Toronto come back from down 2-0 in the third period.
"Family being here, the Swedish fans," said Nylander, who lives in Sweden during the offseason. "I think this was really special and a lot of fun for sure and then obviously the win we were able to pull off after we had a slow two periods.
"The streak for me is what it is. I'm just focusing on working hard and if there is a point that happens, it happens. But the most important thing is that we get the win."
John Tavares had a goal and two assists to extend his point streak to four games (two goals, five assists), and Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs (9-5-2), who have won three in a row. Ilya Samsonov made 27 saves.
Lucas Raymond, a native of Gothenburg, Sweden, scored in his second straight game for the Red Wings (8-6-3), and Alex Lyon made 26 saves in his season debut. Detroit lost to the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in overtime on Thursday in the first game of the Global Series.
"It was a learning experience after not playing for so long," said Lyon, who was playing his first game since he relieved Sergei Bobrovsky with the Florida Panthers in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 5. "I just tried to be patient with it, try to feel it out as I go, but obviously not good enough for the win tonight and that's disappointing, but it is what it is and I've got to find a way at the end there to make the extra save. Those tiny margins are what the NHL comes down to."
Tavares put the Maple Leafs up 3-2 at 14:27 of the third after Bertuzzi forced a turnover from Justin Holl behind the Red Wings net and passed across the crease to Tavares for a tap-in. Nylander got the secondary assist.
"That was great work along the boards in behind the net there by Bertuzzi just being strong and winning a battle and obviously having the awareness once he came up with the puck seeing me on the backside," said Tavares, the Toronto captain. "I had the easy part just putting it in."
Nylander tied it 2-2 at 13:03 on the power play when he took a pass from Mitchell Marner and shot high to the blocker side from the slot.
"I think we played a really good first two periods and then in the third, I feel like we came out and played a bit scared on our heels, and that's when their offense starts to take over," Raymond said. "They're one of the most skilled teams in the League."
Bertuzzi cut it to 2-1 at 3:50 of the third when he took a pass at the top of the goal crease from Nylander, who got the puck near the blue line and skated to the goal line before finding Bertuzzi for a tap-in.
"Whether it is today, which obviously was really special for [Nylander] being at home and having the night that he did," Tavares said, "I think it's pretty evident what he's done in the last 15 or 16 months to put himself in the conversation with the best players in the game.
"He continues to show on a nightly basis how dominant he is and the game-breaker he can be."
Daniel Sprong gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 12:52 of the second period on a penalty shot. Samsonov made a stretching left toe save on Michael Rasmussen, which led to a scramble in the goal crease, and it was determined that Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly covered the puck with his hand, resulting in the penalty shot.
Raymond made it 2-0 at 14:44 of the second when he shot from the bottom of the left face-off circle.
"It's tough to really think about [scoring] right now so close after this game," Raymond said. "Obviously it's been a special experience being in my home country in front of family and friends, but at the end of the day we came here to win two games. … Not the best mood right now."
The Maple Leafs thought they had gone up 1-0 at 12:30 of the second period when Marner shot from the slot with the net dislodged. The play was reviewed to determine whether the puck would have entered the net if it was in its normal position, but the call on the ice of no goal was upheld.
"It's little mistakes for sure that ended up costing us and it's very disappointing," Red Wings forward David Perron said. "We felt like we played a pretty good first 40 minutes and didn't come away with any points at the end of the game."
NOTES: Nylander became the 15th player to have a point streak of at least 16 games to start a season. … Red Wings defenseman Jake Walman, who fell into the net on the disallowed goal, left the game after appearing to jam his right knee and did not return. There was no update. … Sprong became the first player to score a penalty-shot goal during a regular-season game outside of North America. … Red Wings forward J.T. Compher played his sixth regular-season NHL game outside of North America, tying Erik Johnson and Ryan McDonagh for the most. … Maple Leafs forward Nicholas Robertson had his four-game point streak end (two goals, two assists). … The Ottawa Senators will play the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, and the Maple Leafs will play the Wild on Sunday in the remaining two games of the Global Series.