Red Wings hang on to beat Maple Leafs

Red Wings' Gustav Nyquist (right) celebrates with Riley Sheahan after scoring the first of his two...

Red Wings' Gustav Nyquist (right) celebrates with Riley Sheahan after scoring the first of his two goals against the Leafs' James Reimer during NHL action in Detroit on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. (Andrew Weber/USA TODAY Sports)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:08 PM ET

DETROIT - On Tuesday morning, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle was queried about facing a Detroit Red Wings club that has been decimated by injuries.

“I would look at it and say they are an NHL hockey club,” Carlyle said. “We know the youth and enthusiasm young players play with and the structure they have been able to display, they are in every hockey game. We are in no position to take anybody lightly no matter who we play.”

A few hours later, the Leafs put themselves squarely in that position. By the time the Leafs realized they just might be beaten by the Grand Rapids Griffins team that had some Wings in the lineup, it was too late. No less than 10 Detroit regulars, including Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, are hurt.

But the Leafs could not erase a 2-0 Wings lead and lost 3-2 at Joe Louis Arena.

That the Leafs were finishing a five-game trip — they went 2-3 and face the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on Wednesday night — amounts to a zero in the excuse column. That the Leafs could not beat the Wings was unacceptable.


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