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Toronto Takes 2-0 Series Lead Against Red Wings

Apr. 12, 1963 - Forward Ed Litzenberger, filling in for the injured Frank Mahovlich, scored 1 goal and set up 2 others as Toronto defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-2, last night at Maple Leaf Gardens to take a 2-0 lead in their NHL Stanley Cup final playoff series. Seldom used during the regular season, Litzenberger provided the initial spark at 5:31 of the first period with a goal, and then he set up right wing Ron Stewart for 2 others. Bob Nevin scored what proved to be the winner of 0:49 of the second period when the Leafs took a 3-0 lead. Gordie Howe tallied both Detroit goals, one in the second frame and another in the final period. The series now shifts to Detroit for the third and fourth games, Sunday and Tuesday. The Leafs struck early, just as they did Tuesday in winning the opener, blitzing Terry Sawchuk with 14 shots in the first period. Altogether, they pumped 37 drives at him. Johnny Bower (pictured with his son after the game), harassed only late in the second period and early in the third, stopped 25 shots. Litzenberger didn’t blow his big chance. Summoned from the bench to replace Mahovlich, out for at least one game with strained knee ligaments, he was extremely alert at the side of the Wings’ net. He broke in alone for his first goal, and when Sawchuk sprawled to block it, he batted in the rebound. He then provided Stewart with two beautiful assists, one in the first period and one in the second. Howe was the only bright spot in the dismal Wings’ attack. He tapped his first goal at 1:42 of the second period when Bower missed on a dive for a loose puck. His second goal was so picturesque that Leaf fans gave him an ovation. The Wing star cruised in toward the net on an angle and met Leaf defenseman Bobby Baun in front of the cage just as Bower stopped Alex Delvecchio’s blue-line drive. Howe lifted Baun’s stick, grabbed the puck, and drove into the open corner all in one motion.


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