Toronto — Henrik Zetterberg was intent on reversing what he felt was one the worst game of his career.
And he sure did Friday, assisting on all four goals in a 4-1 victory over Toronto.
Zetterberg felt he didn't do nearly enough in Wednesday's shootout loss to Boston and that fueled a dominating performance against the Maple Leafs.
"Personally it was a tough, tough game," Zetterberg said of the loss to the Bruins. "Didn't have much (during the game), so it was nice to feel better today and bounce back a little bit."
Zetterberg was in coach Mike Babcock's office the next morning, something that gave Babcock an indication Zetterberg was going to answer in a big way.
"I knew he was serious," Babcock said. "He practiced real well the next day, and he was determined.
"He's the leader of our team and we expect him to be good, and when he's not good we need him to respond, and he did."
Zetterberg set up Johan Franzen for two goals, Gustav Nyquist for a goal (Nyquist's fourth in four games) and drew an assist on Justin Abdelkader's goal.
"The puck was bouncing our way," Zetterberg said. "Mule and Nyquist were good at finding open spots and I found them."
Whether Zetterberg will have Franzen for Saturday night's rematch at Joe Louis Arena remains to be seen.
Franzen had a thigh spasm the next shift after his second goal in the second period, and didn't return to the game.
Franzen was uncertain if he'd be able to play Saturday.
"Maybe, probably, hopefully so," Franzen said. "It just cramped up on the inside, a real tight spasm, it tightened up on me. Hopefully it goes away."
But on this night it was Zetterberg who starred, controlling the puck and finding those open players.
Said Babcock: "Zetterberg was the catalyst offensively."
Zetterberg found Nyquist to make it 3-0 late in the second period, and send Maple Leafs fans into a booing frenzy.
"It's pretty fun (playing with Zetterberg)," Nyquist said. "He's a pretty good player. He was fantastic. Some of those passes he makes, he surprises you sometimes with what he can do.
"But for sure, it's a lot of fun."
It was fun for the Red Wings, too, playing the way they're capable of, using their speed, and erasing what was a disappointing effort against the Bruins.
"When you have a bad game, you want to bounce back as quick as possible and we did that tonight," Zetterberg said.
Said Nyquist: "We were disappointed with the way we played. We played slow and Howie (Jimmy Howard) stole a point for us. We wanted to come out strong and get a win and we did a good job managing the puck and limiting their chances. They feed off transition hockey and we managed the puck well."
Howard was steady making 23 saves, only allowing a Mike Santorelli goal 21 seconds into the third period. Jonas Gustavsson will draw the start in goal for the Wings in Saturday's rematch.
The Red Wings improved to 2-1-1 (five points) while the Maple Leafs fell to 2-3-0 (four points).