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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Toronto

Streaking Maple Leafs head to Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday

by Tyler Savitsky / Wild.com
The essentials

Who: Toronto Maple Leafs (21-14-5) at Minnesota Wild (19-16-5)

Puck drop: 5:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild, @mnwildscribe; GameCenter


The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling


ST. PAUL -- The Wild will officially hit the halfway mark of the season when it hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night.

Minnesota is coming off a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday. Ryan Donato gave the Wild the lead in the first period, when he knocked a loose puck past goalie Semyon Varlamov. It was Donato's eighth goal of the season and gave him seven points in his last 11 games.

Minnesota held the lead until early in the third period when the Islanders scored two goals in 97 seconds. First, a Ryan Pulock shot that was deflected ended up trickling into the back of the net, then Leo Komarov set up Matt Martin right in front of the net. Tom Kuhnhackl doubled the Islanders lead with 2:31 remaining to put the game away.

The Wild may be getting its captain, Mikko Koivu, back for its game against the Maple Leafs. Koivu was taken off injured reserve and returned to practice on Monday and head coach Bruce Boudreau called him a game-time decision.

"For a guy who's been out a month, we want to put him in the best position to succeed, so a lot will depend on what Mikko and [Head Athletic Trainer] John [Worley] will have to talk about," Boudreau said. 

Koivu's potential return could return some normalcy to the lines, with Koivu back to centering Zach Parise and Kevin Fiala and the reuniting of the GEEK Squad line of Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin.

The Wild will have to tame a Maple Leafs offense that has scored four goals or more in each of its last seven games, going 6-0-1 in that span.

The Maple Leafs had a six-game winning streak before losing 5-4 in overtime against the New York Rangers on Saturday night. Toronto trailed by two goals in the third, but Auston Matthews tied the game with 52.1 seconds left in regulation. Tony DeAngelo scored the game-winning overtime goal for the Rangers 52 seconds into the extra frame.

Matthews leads the team in goals and points, with the center recording 26 goals and 46 points. Second-line center, John Tavares, has 15 goals and 18 assists on the season.

"A lot of times lately, we've had to really worry about one center who's the main cog. They've got two," Boudreau said. "And some wingers that can really play."

Mitch Marner ranks first on the team with 26 assists on the season and winger William Nylander ranks third on the club with 33 points.

Goalkeeper Frederik Andersen has started 31 of the team's 40 games. He is 19-8-4 with a 2.72 goals against-average and a .914 save percentage.

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