DETROIT – Johan Franzen’s second goal of the game with 1:57 to play broke a tie and lifted the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-3 pre-season victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.
Franzen also had an assist, while Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist and Nicklas Lidstrom and Valtteri Filppula scored goals for Detroit (4-1-2). Ty Conklin made 19 saves. Zetterberg, Franzen and Jiri Hudler, who had three assists, were on the same line Friday.
“They’ve been by far our best line in exhibition,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Good for them. They’re prepared for the year.”
Alex Steen had a goal and an assist for Toronto (2-4-1) while Jiri Tlusty and Mikhail Grabovsky had goals. Vesa Toskala stopped 28 shots.
Franzen’s game-winner came on a rebound.
Filppula added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Franzen had a breakout 2007-08 season, scoring a career-high 27 goals.
“It showed me that I can score,” Franzen said. “I know that now, so I’m going out there every game trying to score. That’s the difference. It’s two talented guys I’m playing with, for sure, so I’ve got to try to stay open and create some space.”
Zetterberg is looking forward to playing alongside his new linemates.
“Mule is a big, strong guy and works really hard in the corners, and Hudler really can find the open guy all the time, he’s really good with his stick and has good vision,” he said. “It’s a good line when we all work hard. That’s the key.”
Zetterberg gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal 1:54 into the third period. But Grabovski tied it with 9:49 remaining in the third.
Lidstrom opened the scoring with a 5-on-3 power-play goal 7:55 into the game, and Franzen made it 2-0 2:20 later.
Steen put the Maple Leafs on the board 8:31 into the middle period and Tlusty’s power-play goal with 9:31 left in the second tied it.