Wild’s six-stroke streak with entertaining 4-3 shootout win over Toronto
If the Wild was flying under the radar, it probably isn’t.
The team confirmed their emergence as one of the top teams in the NHL on Saturday, beating the Maple Leafs 4-3 in a shootout past 18,568 at the Xcel Energy Center to extend their winning streak to six games while delivering also Toronto just its third loss in the last 18 games.
No one in the NHL has more wins than the Wild (17), and their 35 points are tied for second in the league after sweeping a five-game homestand.
Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov scored in the shootout after a scoreless overtime in the wake of the Maple Leafs, erasing a three-goal deficit in the second period to set up a photo finish.
It was a game not to be missed, with each team bringing in a five-game winning streak, and neither side gave the other a lot of work to do at the start.
Jordan Greenway’s hit on reigning NHL top scorer Auston Matthews was a game-changer.
Greenway stood up to two Leafs players before teammate Marcus Foligno stepped in, facing Wayne Simmonds of Toronto.
After that, the Wild took over.
With 24 seconds remaining in the first period, Wild took the lead when Greenway jumped on the rebound from a Matt Dumba shot that hit the post. The goal was Greenway’s second in the last three games, a period in which he racked up four points.
This momentum continued in the second period, where the Wild were the benefactor of a few fortuitous games.
Mats Zuccarello center took off from Justin Holl of the Maple Leafs and flew behind goaltender Jack Campbell at 5:21, a goal that scored Zuccarello’s ninth point in his last seven games and ended a drought 0-21 on the power play.
Kirill Kaprizov also assisted on the game, his 11th point in a five-game scoring streak, a season-high.
Then at 8:07 a.m. Joel Eriksson Ek’s shot hit the referee and Marcus Foligno buried the loose puck to take the Wild to a 3-0 lead.
Not only was Foligno’s goal the fifth in his last eight games, it was the first time in 11 NHL seasons that he had reached the 10-goal mark in three consecutive seasons.
But a rebound also worked against the Wild, opening the door for Toronto to force their way into the game.
Jason Spezza’s throw from the corner took off from Talbot and went into the net at 12:47.
Before the end of the period, the Wild committed back-to-back penalties and the Maple Leafs took advantage of both opportunities.
First, Spezza’s receiving shot made five holes on Talbot at 5:51 pm for his second goal of the night and with 50 seconds remaining Matthews directed a pass from Spezza to tie the score at 3.
Overall, Toronto’s power play is 2v5. Matthews had two points in the period, assisting the Maple Leafs second baseman, while Morgan Rielly contributed all three.
It was the first time this season that the Wild had lost a three-goal lead.
The team were fortunate enough to redeem their disappointment in the third period on a 5-to-3 power play for 1:48, but the Wild were unable to take advantage – their five shots, including two from Kaprizov, went down. been arrested. by Campbell, who made 37 in total. The Wild’s power play ended 1 on 5.
At the other end, Talbot made 39 saves on the other end to complete two shootout saves – including Torontonian William Nylander’s final try.