TORONTO (AP) — Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund scored power-play goals to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
Devan Dubnyk had 21 saves for the Wild, who took over sole possession of the second wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Jake Gardiner gave the Leafs the lead early in the second period with his sixth goal of the season and Garret Spars — making his second start since being recalled from Toronto of the AHL last weekend, finished with 20 saves.
The Maple Leafs, coming off a 3-2 loss at Washington the previous night, fell to 1-10-2 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.
Koivu tied the score with just under nine minutes left in the second period when his pass attempt appeared to ping off the skate of Leafs defenseman Matt Hunwick in front for his 14th goal this season.
Granlund put Minnesota ahead when he sent a shot over Sparks’ left shoulder with about 8 1/2 minutes left in regulation.
Following a scoreless first period, Gardiner got Toronto on the board with a hard slap shot that eluded Dubnyk’s grasp. The goalie was screened on the shot by Brooks Laich, playing in his third game with the Leafs following a Sunday trade from Washington.
The Wild tied the score at one on a power-play a few minutes later on Koivu’s goal.
Minnesota has been scoring in bunches since John Torchetti replaced Mike Yeo, averaging nearly four goals per game since the change was made coming into play on Thursday.
Toronto’s increasingly young lineup got younger against Minnesota.
Twenty-one-year-old Brendan Leipsic replaced 33-year-old veteran Brad Boyes, who missed the game with an upper body injury.
Leipsic joined 19-year-olds Kasperi Kapanen and William Nylander, 22-year-old Nikita Soshnikov, 23-year-old Zach Hyman, 21-year-old Connor Carrick and 22-year-old Frankie Corrado in the Leafs’ lineup following a round of callups after Monday’s trade deadline.
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