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Sundin, Renberg go wild

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Swedish Olympians Mats Sundin and Mikael Renberg each posted three points as the Toronto Maple Leafs extended their winning streak to three games with a 3-1 victory over the struggling Minnesota Wild.


Sundin had two goals and an assist and Renberg added a goal and two assists, sparking Toronto's third-period comeback.

"We have an experienced group of guys and we just try to gather ourselves," Sundin said. "We knew if we could win one period, we'd win the game. We thought of that and then we came out skating a lot better in the third.

"It's an important point for us whether you play Minnesota or someone else this time of year. We're trying to keep up with Boston and we've got Ottawa playing well in our division. We want to make sure we're secure in a playoff spot."

Mikael Renberg's effort against the Wild was described as heroic.
(Credit: Graig Abel Photography)
Sundin tied it 2-1/2 minutes into the final period, then put Toronto ahead for good with his 30th goal late with 2:57 left. It is his ninth 30-goal effort in 11 NHL seasons.

The Maple Leafs' captain scored his first of the night on the power play by finishing off a goalmouth scramble. The puck trickled to Sundin at the left side of the crease, where he slid it under goaltender Manny Fernandez's glove.

With Minnesota breaking out 3-on-2 late in the third, Renberg backchecked, stole the puck and carried it end-to-end before poking it with one arm toward the net. Sundin struck again by deflecting the puck over Fernandez's shoulder.

"Renberg should have been first, second and third (star) for that individual effort," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "He backed up the play, then got back in the other end. It certainly was a heroic effort for sure."

Toronto's all-Swedish top line of Sundin, Renberg and Jonas Hoglund has combined for 51 goals and 79 assists in 54 games.

"I don't think I ever played with a player that positive," Renberg said of Sundin. "We played badly the first two periods, I thought, but he kept talking positive and got everybody going and told everybody that we were going to win this game. I think when a guy like that speaks up and says things like that, all the players tend to believe that. So that proves he's the leader of this club."

Renberg added his 10th goal with a minute left to seal the win and Curtis Joseph made 23 saves for the Maple Leafs.

Pascal Dupuis scored the lone goal for Minnesota, which is winless in its last seven games (0-4-1-2).

Wes Walz passed from behind the net and Dupuis one-timed it past Joseph to give the Wild a 1-0 lead 1:47 into the second period.

Minnesota managed to keep Toronto scoreless on 20 shots over the first 20 minutes and also killed a two-minute 5-on-3 power play.

"I thought that was a well-fought game tonight," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "That's what we're looking for. We have been in the league two years. I think we did well tonight."

"They're well-coached and they play a disciplined, trap-style game," Joseph said. "And the goalie played really well. Some nights, that can really frustrate you. But tonight, we were able to find a way to win."

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