NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Toronto
(Tuesday, December 26th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Minnesota 3
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Jeff O'Neill scored the game-winning goal with 2:18 left in the third period to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs past the Minnesota Wild, 4-3.
With time running out in regulation, Mats Sundin won a key faceoff in the Minnesota end and Bryan McCabe fired a shot on net from the high slot. Wild goaltender Manny Fernandez managed to get a pad on the shot, but O' Neill was there to stuff home the rebound for the game-winner.
Sundin and Alex Steen also scored, while John Pohl cashed in on a penalty shot for the Maple Leafs, who put the brakes on a three-game skid. Netminder Andrew Raycroft finished with 18 saves.
"(Our captain Mats Sundin) made it a point to have us ready to play tonight," said O' Neill. "Also, he showed it on the ice with his play."
Kurtis Foster, Wes Walz and Brian Rolston each tallied for the Wild, who have dropped seven straight on the road. Fernandez ended the contest with 32 saves.
Minnesota drew first blood 2:53 into the opening period as Foster's shot from the right point beat a screened Raycroft for the score.
Toronto answered with a power play tally with 1:02 left in the first as Sundin's low angle shot slipped through Fernandez's pads and into the back of the net.
The Wild regained the lead at the 11:47 mark of the second period as Branko Radivojevic's pass from the right corner found Walz in front of the net and he deflected the puck past Raycroft to make it 2-1.
Toronto answered just under a minute later on Pohl's penalty shot as the center went forehand to backhand before beating Fernandez stick-side to make it 2-2.
"I knew I had to put a fake shot on (Fernandez)," said Pohl. "He's a good goalie. It was a lucky goal, I'll take it."
The Maple Leafs took their first lead 3:49 into the third period as Ian White's dump-in took a funny bounce off the boards and went directly to Fernandez, who had troubled handling the puck. Steen crashed the net hard and stuffed the puck into the back of the net to make it 3-2.
Minnesota tied the game at the 9:32 mark of the final period as Todd White's pass from the point found Rolston on the left door step and he redirected the puck past Raycroft for the score.
Toronto improved to 5-1 lifetime against the Wild...Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle picked up his 25th assist of the year...Toronto went 2-for-4 on the power play, while Minnesota went 1-for-4.
12/26 22:55:59 ET