The Toronto Maple Leafs began their three-game homestand with a win and look to follow suit on Wednesday as they host the Minnesota Wild. Toronto received a scare from Vegas on Monday, when it watched a 3-1 lead disappear before emerging victorious in a shootout.
Nazem Kadri registered his second two-goal performance in six contests, ending his four-game drought in the process, as the Maple Leafs posted just their second triumph in seven games. The Wild continue a four-game road trip after opening it with a 5-3 loss at Boston on Monday. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon notched an assist in the setback, which was Minnesota’s third in four overall contests, to become the first player on the team to reach double digits in points. The Wild are hoping Monday’s effort gets Eric Staal going offensively, as the veteran center scored his second goal in nine contests following a three-game streak.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN North Plus (Minnesota), Sportsnet, TVA (Toronto)
ABOUT THE WILD (5-6-2): Staal is not the only member of the club struggling to tally, as he became just the second to hit the five-goal mark. Mikael Granlund finally got on the board Monday, scoring his first of the season after registering a career-high 26 in 2016-17. Chris Stewart leads Minnesota with six goals but is mired in a seven-game drought.
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (9-7-0): Mitch Marner has become somewhat of a shootout expert after less than 1 1/4 seasons in the NHL. The 20-year-old, who scored the decisive goal in the bonus format against the Golden Knights, has converted four of his nine career opportunities. Toronto already has matched its total of shootout wins from last season (1-8) after playing its first such contest in 2017-18.
1. Wild RW Nino Niederreiter has recorded a point in three of his four games since returning from an ankle injury.
2. The Maple Leafs recalled C Frederik Gauthier from the Toronto Marlies and assigned RW Kasperi Kapanen to the American Hockey League club.
3. Minnesota G Devan Dubnyk, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 24 shots in two periods on Monday, is expected to start against Toronto.
PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 4, Wild 2