Marner reaches 500-point mark as Maple Leafs top Red Wings 4-1

TORONTO — Mitch Marner had one goal and an assist as he reached the 500-point milestone as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Saturday.

Marner hit the mark in his 467th career game, a mere four days after Auston Matthews accomplished the feat. Matthews is the fastest player in Maple Leafs history to do it, needing 445 games.

John Tavares, with two goals, and Pontus Holmberg also scored for Toronto (24-9-7), which snapped a two-game skid with its first win of 2023.

Ilya Samsonov made 22 saves in a bounce back effort after surrendering five goals in regulation and overtime in the Leafs' 6-5 shootout loss to St. Louis on Tuesday.

Jake Walman was the lone scorer for the Red Wings (16-15-7), who suffered their third straight loss.

Magnus Hellberg stopped 25-of-28 shots he faced.

Tavares capped a run of four unanswered goals for Toronto with an empty-net marker at 18:21 of the final frame.

Holmberg gave the Leafs a two-goal advantage when he tipped in a Morgan Rielly point shot 6:19 into the third for his fourth of the season.

Tavares scored the go-ahead goal 6:37 into the second when Calle Jarnkrok found him streaking down the middle of Detroit's zone between two defenders.

Marner knotted the contest just 24 seconds into the middle frame with a sharp-angled goal on a rebound from a Matthews point shot that went wide and off the boards behind the net.

Matthews was credited with an assist, allowing both players to extend their point streaks to four games.

After numerous missed opportunities from both teams, Olli Maata sent a laser of a pass from the end boards to spring Walman on a breakaway. Walman beat Samsonov top corner to open the scoring 11:57 into the first.


Five members of Canada's gold-medal winning world junior team were honoured just past the midway mark of the first period. Brennan Othmann, Ethan Del Mastro, Owen Beck, Shane Wright and Zack Ostapchuk were given a standing ovation from the Scotiabank Arena crowd when shown on the video board.


Saturday's contest was Toronto's first Indigenous Celebration game. Players wore warm-up jerseys designed by Indigenous artist Tyler Rushnell. The jerseys will be up for auction on Real Sports Auction with all of the proceeds to be donated to the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. There were also performances from the Toronto Council Fire Native All Nations Juniors drum group as Leafs players were introduced and a hoop dance routine during the second intermission.


The Maple Leafs head to Philadelphia to play the Flyers on Sunday for the second of back-to-back games. It will be one of just four road games for Toronto in January.

Detroit will have two days off before taking on the Winnipeg Jets at home on Tuesday. It will be the start of a three-game homestand for the Red Wings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2023.

Abdulhamid Ibrahim, The Canadian Press