January 1, 2020 / 2:03 AM / 24 days ago

Surging Maple Leafs overpower Wild

Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist, and Frederik Andersen stopped 26 of 27 shots to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night in Saint Paul, Minn.

Dec 31, 2019; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (88) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Minnesota Wild in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Kerfoot also scored a goal for Toronto, which extended its point streak to eight games (7-0-1). Nylander extended his goal streak to four games.

The Maple Leafs, who won for just the fourth time in the past 13 meetings against the Wild, also improved to 13-4-1 under head coach Sheldon Keefe, who replaced Mike Babcock on Nov. 20.

Ryan Suter scored for Minnesota (10-4-3 at home), and Devan Dubnyk finished with 25 saves.

Toronto took a 1-0 lead at the 5:55 mark of the first period when Kerfoot one-timed a Tavares feed from the edge of the left circle for his seventh goal of the season. It also was Kerfoot’s 100th career point.

Nylander made it 2-0 just before the end of the period, picking up a rebound of a Matthews shot near the crease and flipping it past Dubnyk for his 17th goal of the season.

Matthews extended Toronto’s lead to 3-0 midway through the second period with a power-play goal. He roofed a cross-ice pass from Nylander from the bottom of the right circle for his 27th goal of the season.

Suter put Minnesota on the board a little over three minutes later with a power-play goal, firing a shot from the left point past a screen by Mikko Koivu and Andersen’s blocker side for his sixth goal of the season.

The Wild pulled Dubnyk with 2:20 to go and managed just one shot on goal before Tavares sealed the win with an empty-netter, his 16th tally of the season, with 25 seconds remaining.

—Field Level Media

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