RW Joffrey Lupul scored 99 seconds into the game, rookie G James Reimer made 29 saves for his third shutout and C Mikhail Grabovski recorded a goal and an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-0 in front of an overflow sellout crowd of 18,761 at Xcel Energy Center. G Niklas Backstrom made 14 saves for Minnesota, which plays host to St. Louis on Saturday.
Minnesota allowed just 17 shots, second fewest this season. The Wild yielded 14 against Vancouver on Feb. 15.
Tonight’s game was just Minnesota’s ninth game against Toronto all-time, and fourth at Xcel Energy Center, its fewest against any NHL team.
The Wild has allowed the game’s first goal in all seven games of its winless streak (0-6-1), and in 11 of 12. Minnesota is 8-29-4 when allowing the first goal, but 27-2-4 when scoring first.
Minnesota has been outscored 12-2 in the first period of its last seven games.
The Wild is 6-9-2 against Eastern Conference teams. Last year the Wild was 10-4-4 against Eastern teams.
The Wild had not gone winless in seven consecutive games since Feb. 22-March 7, 2004 (0-4-3).
In the Wild’s three victories vs. Toronto it has scored 16 combined goals, but has scored just six times in its six losses.