October 07, 2016 - 7:44 PM
HAMILTON - Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock gave a shoutout to his goalie despite his team losing 2-1 to the Detroit Red Wings in pre-season action on Friday night.
Jhonas Enroth, the third goalie on Sweden's World Cup of Hockey team who's expected to back up Frederik Andersen when the season begins next week, stopped 24-of-26 shots for Toronto.
"I thought he was solid," said Babcock. "He gave us a chance the first period. They were better than us and he gave us a chance."
Detroit outshot Toronto 11-6 in the first 20 minutes and 26-19 overall.
Toronto's pre-season record fell to 2-3-2, while Detroit improved to 5-1-1. The two teams meet again Saturday night in Detroit to close out their exhibition schedule.
"It was nice to get a workout in," said Enroth, who signed as a free agent over the summer. "I think the first 10 minutes was pretty tough. They were buzzing in our zone."
Enroth said he liked how the team played in front of him for the last half of the game.
"I think we played solid the last 30 minutes," he said. "We didn't give up too many good chances and we played pretty simple. We wanted to have a little bit more offence but it didn't happen tonight."
Evgeny Svechnikov scored twice to lead Detroit and Jimmy Howard was in net. Brendan Leipsic scored for Toronto, his first of the pre-season.
Detroit's Ben Street left in the second period after getting cut in the neck area by a Leafs skate. Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill said Street was in stable condition when he was taken to hospital and will stay overnight as a precaution.
This is the first time the Leafs have played in Hamilton since 2005, when FirstOntario Place was called Copps Coliseum. But the Hamilton crowd watched a game devoid of star players. The roster for Saturday night's re-match in Detroit is expected to better reflect who will be playing for both teams on opening night.
This was the Leafs' seventh of eight pre-season games. They're on a stretch of three games in three nights. Toronto lost 6-1 in Montreal on Thursday.
Svechnikov gave Detroit the early 1-0 lead on a quick wristshot past Enroth from the top of the slot. He was in position after leaving the penalty box and lingered the 11 seconds needed for Nathan Paetsch to start the breakout along the boards to Drew Miller, who hit him with a short lead pass.
Toronto's Leipsic tied the game 1-1 with 44 seconds left in the first period, taking a feed from Colin Smith behind the net and roofing it left corner past Howard.
Svechnikov scored his second of the night 4:39 into the second period to make it 2-1 for Detroit off a rebound from defenceman Robbie Russo's shot from the point.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016