Detroit and Toronto's NHL rivalry goes back about 85 years, but the clubs don't meet as much anymore since they play in different conferences. The Red Wings last posted a win in Toronto on Nov. 16, 2002, but Detroit has only made three trips to the ACC since then and the Maple Leafs won those encounters by a combined 13-5 score.
Toronto has taken four of six overall in this series, although the Wings snapped a three-game series' skid with a 4-2 win in Detroit on March 26.
The Red Wings, who enter tonight trailing Chicago by one point for first place in the Central Division, have won two straight and four of their last five contests.
Detroit kicked off a four-game road trip on a positive note Tuesday, as it recorded a 5-4 regulation decision in Dallas. Jiri Hudler scored twice and Valtteri Filppula added a goal and two assists for the Red Wings, who jumped out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes and then held on for the win.
"We've been playing well at home, but we haven't been playing well on the road," said Filppula. "We didn't play our best, but we got the win and that's all that counts."
Thanks to Tuesday's victory, Detroit is now 10-11-0 as the guest this year compared to a stellar 15-2-1 mark in Motown.
Red Wings forward Darren Helm has missed the last three games with a groin injury and is not expected to play tonight.
The Leafs ended December on an 0-2-1 slide, but have since notched consecutive wins on home ice to start off a four-game homestand. With another win tonight in Game 3 of that residency, Toronto will have its first three-game winning streak since Nov. 22-27.
After slamming the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning by a 7-3 score on Tuesday, Toronto received a strong outing from Jonas Gustavsson in Thursday's 4-0 win over Winnipeg. It was the second straight start for Gustavsson, who stopped all 24 shots fired his way by the Jets to earn his first shutout of the season and the second of his career.
"He was solid and very professional tonight," Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said of his goaltender's performance. "He didn't give up very many rebounds, especially on shots that were coming from the point. I think he did a very good job of handling the puck when he needed to."
Wilson is expected to play the hot hand with Gustavsson tonight rather than go back to No. 1 netminder James Reimer.
Tim Connolly and Mikhail Grabovski finished with a goal and an assist apiece against the Jets, while Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur also found the back of the net for the Leafs. MacArthur and Kessel both enter tonight riding seven-game point streaks.
Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf is expected to play tonight after the defenseman was hit in the side of the head with a puck on Thursday. Earlier on Thursday, Phaneuf and Kessel were named as starters for this year's All-Star Game in Ottawa.
Toronto, which will complete its homestand Tuesday against Buffalo, is 10-5-4 as the host this season.