The Wild entered Toronto needing a win, and they were able to get the job done with a power play goal from Mikko Koivu and a late goal from Mikael Granlund. Toronto iced a lineup full of newcomers to the NHL, looking to see what the future holds and if their prospects are developing as hoped.
The first period was very even, with Toronto coming out hot and with tons of energy. The Wild kept themselves in the game however, with Dubnyk making some good saves and Garret Sparks playing well for the Leafs as well. The Wild had a problem all night long with accuracy, shooting wide much of the time. Still, the teams kept the game level at 0-0 into the first break.
The second period saw both teams score, with Toronto going ahead early in the period off a good goal from Jake Gardiner. Mikko Koivu leveled the score on a power play by banking a shot in (which looked like it hit Parise's stick) but the goal was credited to the Kaptain. Despite a few more chances for both teams, the teams entered the third frame all square at one goal apiece.
The third period featured the same equal play the previous two periods contained. The Wild earned a power play and the Wild created a number of great chances, the biggest coming off a Brodin slap shot... unfortunately it hit the post. Then Thomas Vanek, like the Austrian superhero he is, sent a pass through three penalty killers to noted sniper(?) Mikael Granlund, who fired the puck over Sparks' shoulder to take the lead.
The Leafs were not happy, with Nazem Kadri taking another penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. After the Leafs killed it, he attempted to draw a hooking penalty from Mike Reilly by grabbing Reilly's stick with his armpit... but the refs weren't falling for it. The Leafs pulled Sparks, but Dubnyk and the Wild came up huge, and came out with a win.
Mike Babcock left the game unimpressed with his team's performance, as well as with that of the referees.
More Babcock on officiating: "...the people didn't pay to watch them play, they pay to watch the players."— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) March 4, 2016
The good news: the Wild left with a win. The bad news: a trip over to Natural Stat Trick tells us that the Wild were- once again- were out possessed by a terrible possession team. A terrible possession team full of AHL players.
In other words: the Wild may continue winning, but they are winning on borrowed time, and sooner or later the boatmen will need to be paid.
The Wild are next in action on Saturday in New York, where they will take on the Sabres.