MIN@TOR W 4-2
The beaten up Minnesota Wild were in Toronto to take on a Leaf team that was also missing a big name player. Minnesota’s last game was a 4-3 loss against Boston in which the Wild gave up a pair of goals, 2:09 apart in the first period and in the second allowed another pair of goals 2:09 apart. They scored twice in the third but it was too little too late for A Bruce Boudreau squad that was designated as Stanley Cup favourites before the season started. Before that game in Boston they went 3-3 during a six game home stand.
Unless you live under a rock then you know the injured Maple Leaf player was Auston Matthews who missed the first game of his young NHL Career on Wednesday night at the Acc. He has an undisclosed injury that appears to be upper body.
Despite not having their best player, Toronto came out flying in the first period and got on the scoreboard first. For the second game in a row, Nazem Kadri opened the scoring and for the second game in a row it was off a Morgan Reilly point-shot. This goal however was a tip that rebounded off the end boards and hit the back of the goalie’s skate before trickling in the net. The Wild however tied it up at 18:15 and for Toronto, the first and last two minutes of the period are becoming an issue.
The 2nd period saw a beauty by Patrick Marleau who was flying to the net and put the brakes on in the slot. The pass came to him and he rifled a one timer in the back of the net to regain the one goal lead. Other then that goal, Minnesota dominated thanks in part to three straight power plays that produced no scoring.
Freddy Andersen kept his team in the game making big save after big save all night. In all he made 35 saves. In the final two periods the shots were 28-13 for the Wild.
Early in the 3rd period at 3:40, Connor Carrick scored what would turn out to be the game winner. The Wild made it interesting with five minutes left when they made it 3-2 but again Freddy Andersen was awesome in this one.Connor Brown added an empty netter to cap off a good game for him and all around for the team.
Toronto was 4 for 25 in defensive zone face-offs, hi-lighting another part of Auston Matthews game that was missing from this contest.
Toronto had a lacklustre showing without The Franchise in the line-up getting dominated in almost every category of the game. If not for Freddy playing the way he did this would not have been close and the Wild could’ve and should’ve took an easy two points. Up next is back to back, home and away with Boston on Friday and Saturday nights.