Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate Nylander signing with comfortable win over Minnesota Wild
Nazem Kadri scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period. Zach Hyman had two goals as the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-3 in St. Paul on Saturday night.
Kadri scored his eighth goal this season at 16:40 of the third on a puck deflected in front of the goal after a strong rush by Connor Brown.
Hyman added his sixth goal of the season into an empty net at 19:04 of the third.
Frederik Andersen stopped 38 shots for Toronto. Including some big saves late in the game.
Auston Matthews and Tyler Ennis also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won four in a row. Mitch Marner and Travis Dermott each added two assists.
Eric Staal, Jordan Greenway and Jason Zucker scored for Minnesota. Mikael Granlund added two assists for Minnesota.
Devan Dubnyk made 18 saves for Minnesota.
The Maple Leafs scored the first two goals of the game.
Matthews scored his 13th of the season and his third in two games since returning from a shoulder injury. From the left circle on a power play at 6:06 of the first period. Matt Dumba was serving a hooking penalty.
Ennis followed this, scoring his fourth goal of the season at 12:19 of the first period when his attempted pass was inadvertently deflected in by a Minnesota defense-man.
Staal responded as he scored his 10th this season at 19:29 on a one-timer from the left circle that went in off the post. Ryan Suter set up the play with his pass.
The Wild tied it at 5:17 of the second period on the fourth goal this season by Greenway, a shot through the five-hole set up by a pass from Joel Eriksson Ek.
Immediately the Leafs regained the lead at 14:38 of the second on Hyman’s deflection of a shot by Marner. Jake Gardiner picked up the other assist.
Following this at 9:38 of the third, Zucker jammed in his eighth this season from the side of the net to tie the game. This after Granlund flubbed his shot and the Maple Leafs failed to clear the puck.
Furthermore there were historic references that came out of the 5-3 triumph. As it marked the first time since 1934 (a year that the Leafs made it to the Stanley Cup final) that the hockey club has won 19 of its first 27 games in a season.
Additionally it’s the first time in team history that the Leafs have won 10 of their first 13 road games.
Unsurprisingly it was the news that Nylander had signed that had the youthful dressing room jazzed after the game as much as the victory.
“It’s great news. I hope we get him back as soon as possible,” said Auston Matthews.
“It gives us a lot of depth. That’s a key to our team.”
In addition, Matthews is likely to find Nylander on his right wing as soon as the Swede is ready. Consequently teasing the assembled media a little, suggesting the end of the Nylander contract story would require something new to talk about.
“I’m sure there will be a couple of articles tomorrow, maybe one more on Monday, then it’ll be on to the next story,” he laughed.
Next up, Leafs will play Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday.