NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Minnesota
(Wednesday, January 18th)
Final Score: Minnesota 5, Toronto 3
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Marc Chouinard scored two goals to help the Minnesota Wild down the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3, at Xcel Energy Center.
Marian Gaborik added a goal and an assist as the Wild defeated Toronto for the first time in franchise history (1-4-0). Wes Walz and Kurtis Foster also scored in the win and Manny Fernandez made 19 saves as Minnesota snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Wild also improved to 17-0-0 this season when scoring more then three goals in a game.
"In this building we know when we are ahead we close the game out pretty good," said Chouinard. "Manny made some saves like he always does and right there that is key for us. After that, we started to play with more confidence and that has been what we've been lacking the last two games."
Matt Stajan, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Jason Allison all lit the lamp for the Maple Leafs, who lost their fourth straight game. Allison also had an assist and Mikael Tellqvist allowed four goals on 22 shots faced in defeat.
"We have to get better, our defense is jittery right now," said Toronto head coach Pat Quinn. "We are making jittery plays."
After Ponikarovsky's power play goal tied the contest at 2-2 at the 13:47 mark of the second, Minnesota regained the lead and held on.
Chouinard broke the tie as he took a cross-ice pass from Randy Robitaille in the left circle and was able to rip a shot past Tellqvist's right pad on the power play for a 3-2 Wild lead with 1:51 remaining in the second.
The Wild extended to a 4-2 lead 5:16 into the third. Robitaille stripped a Maple Leaf player of the puck and he fired the disc to Gaborik. The speedy forward carried into the zone, moved to the left and slid the puck under a diving Tellqvist.
The goal turned out to be big as Allison's rebound goal from the right slot whistled by Fernandez's glove with 1:25 left in the game.
However, Chouinard scored an empty-net goal with 22 seconds left to seal the Minnesota victory.
The Maple Leafs drew first blood with a short-handed tally in the first period.
Stajan pounced on a loose puck after a sloppy exchange by the Wild defensemen in their own zone. The center then skated in on net and slid the puck around a sprawled out Fernandez's right pad 2:47 into the game.
The Wild tied the contest at one in the first seven seconds into a power play. Off the faceoff, Minnesota worked the puck behind the net to Pierre-Marc Bouchard. The forward then sent a quick pass to Foster to the right of the net and Foster ripped the puck past Tellqvist's glove side with 5:26 left.
Walz capitalized on a turnover in Toronto's zone as an errant Maple Leaf pass went right to his stick in the slot and he snapped a shot through Tellqvist's five hole 33 seconds into the second frame for a 2-1 Wild lead.
The Wild went 2-for-6 on the power play. They came into the game 2-for-26 on the man advantage in their last four games...Toronto finished 1-for-6 on the power play...Gaborik picked up his 14th goal and 15th assist of the year... Robitaille finished with two assists...Allison tallied his 30th assist on the season...This was the lone meeting between the two clubs this season.
01/19 00:22:05 ET