Skip to main content


game recap

Wild use power play to defeat Maple Leafs

Minnesota scores twice to win third straight game

by Mike Brophy / Correspondent

Koivu's power-play goal

MIN@TOR: Koivu flips in the equalizer on power play

3/3/16: Mikko Koivu slams in a goal off the shoulder of the goalie to tie the game up in the 2nd period, his 14th goal, on a power play

  • 00:43 •

TORONTO -- The Minnesota Wild scored two power-play goals to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 at Air Canada Centre on Thursday.

The Wild power play has scored 13 goals in the past 11 road games; it scored in six of the first 22 road games.

"We have to keep doing that," said Mikael Granlund, who scored the game-winning goal. "Right now our confidence on the PP is way up. I don't know if we are doing anything special. It's just the way it goes; sometimes the pucks go in and sometimes they don't. When you have the confidence in your power play that is a huge thing."

The Wild (30-25-10) have won three in a row. The Maple Leafs (21-32-10) have lost four in a row and five of six.

Video: MIN@TOR: Granlund wrists go-ahead goal

It was Toronto's first of 10 home games in March.

"That was a tough game," Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk said after making 21 saves. "They are working hard as a group over there and obviously they have a lot of young guys. They played us hard, and it's an important game on the road to stick with what we have been doing well. I thought we defended well all game."

Jake Gardiner gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead at 7:33 of the second period when his slap shot from the left point caught the top far corner for his sixth goal of the season.

The Wild tied it 1-1 at 11:08 with Toronto defenseman Frank Corrado off for hooking. Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu attempted a pass to Zach Parise, who was battling for position with Maple Leafs defenseman Matt Hunwick in front of the net. The puck appeared to hit the stick of Toronto goaltender Garret Sparks and popped into the air, over the goalie and into the net. The unassisted goal was Koivu's 14th of the season, his eighth with the man-advantage.

Video: MIN@TOR: Gardiner opens scoring in the 2nd period

Toronto's Leo Komarov was assessed an interference penalty at 10:07 of the third period, and Granlund took a pass from Thomas Vanek and snapped a shot to the short side past Sparks at 11:35 to give the Wild a 2-1 lead. It was Granlund's eighth goal of the season.

"I knew Tommy can make that pass on that play," Granlund said. "He gave me an unbelievable pass and I just shot it and it went in. That's all."

Toronto did not get a power play; Minnesota had four. Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock took a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct following Granlund's goal.

Video: MIN@TOR: Dubnyk denies Hunwick of a goal in the 1st

"I was disappointed tonight," Babcock said. "I thought we got ripped off big-time today. Two teams played real hard and there wasn't much to take between the two. I took a penalty, we shot one over the glass, and we took two others. They couldn't find one (Minnesota penalty). I don't get it. It makes no sense to me."

Dubnyk said, "I don't think we put ourselves in a position to have a penalty called against us. I think both sides played pretty hard and I didn't see any glaring calls that could have been called but weren't. It's nice to see sometimes. You don't always want a makeup call just because there have been a couple calls on one side."

It was the seventh time in Wild history they did not take a penalty in a game, and interim coach John Torchetti deadpanned, "I thought our kill was great."

Video: Koivu, Granlund lead Wild to 2-1 win

View More