Wild rally to de­feat Maple Leafs

Toronto forced to re­call two AHL goalies on emer­gency ba­sis

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - SPORTS - JOSHUA CLIPPERTON

TORONTO — Zach Parise scored the winner as the Min­nesota Wild fought back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to down the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in rare week­day af­ter­noon game Thurs­day.

Jared Spur­geon, with a goal and two as­sists, Char­lie Coyle, with a goal and an as­sist, and Mikko Koivu also scored for Min­nesota (19-17-3). De­van Dub­nyk, who was named to his third NHL all-star game on Wednesday, stopped 38 shots for the Wild.

Mitch Marner, with two, and Wil­liam Ny­lan­der had the goals for Toronto (26-12-2).

Michael Hutchin­son made 30 saves in his de­but for the Leafs in an emer­gency re­call from the mi­nors. John Tavares added two as­sists as Toronto dropped its sec­ond straight game fol­low­ing Satur­day’s list­less 4-0 loss to the New York Is­lan­ders that snapped a five-game win­ning streak.

The 2 p.m. ET matchup was dubbed by the Leafs as their “Next Gen­er­a­tion Game” — one aimed at cel­e­brat­ing youth and en­cour­ag­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of hockey fans.

Parise took ad­van­tage of a turnover by Aus­ton Matthews at 4:21 of the third pe­riod to beat Hutchin­son up­stairs past the glove for his 18th to give Min­nesota its first lead.

Toronto got a power play mid­way through the pe­riod, with Matthews hit­ting the post short­side on Dub­nyk.

The Leafs pulled Hutchin­son with 2:45 left on the clock, but were un­able to get any­thing past the Wild net­min­der, in­clud­ing a chance that drib­bled off the post in the dy­ing sec­onds.

The stands at Sco­tia­bank Arena were dot­ted by sig­nif­i­cantly more kids than usual for the mati­nee start that in­cluded a flashy open­ing cer­e­mony with chil­dren dressed up as play­ers, ref­er­ees and an­nounc­ers.

There were even minia­ture ver­sions of Leafs head coach Mike Bab­cock and famed com­men­ta­tor Don Cherry.

Marner gave them all some­thing to cheer about right out of the gate when he jumped on a loose puck and fired a backhand off the post and in just seven sec­onds af­ter the open­ing face­off to tie the Leafs’ fran­chise record for the fastest goal at the start of a game.

The 21-year-old winger, who was snubbed for the all-star game de­spite sit­ting sixth in league scor­ing with 53 points be­fore tak­ing on the Wild, then made it 2-0 with his 15th goal of the sea­son and ninth in the last eight games.

Marner deftly col­lected the puck in the neu­tral zone and worked a high­light-reel give­and-go with Tavares off the rush at 5:38.

Hutchin­son and fel­low net­min­der Kasimir Kask­isuo were re­called from the Toronto Mar­lies of the Amer­i­can Hockey League on an emer­gency ba­sis with both No. 1 goalie Fred­erik An­der­sen (groin) and backup Gar­ret Sparks (con­cus­sion pro­to­col) out of ac­tion.

An­der­sen is on in­jured re­serve, while Sparks, who took a shot up high in Wednesday’s prac­tice af­ter start­ing Toronto’s last three games, sat out for pre­cau­tion­ary rea­sons.

Hutchin­son has only been with the or­ga­ni­za­tion since Satur­day fol­low­ing a trade with the Florida Pan­thers for a fifth-round draft pick in 2020 as an in­surance pol­icy af­ter the Leafs lost both Cur­tis McEl­hin­ney and Calvin Pickard on waivers be­fore the sea­son.

The 28-year-old from nearby Bar­rie, Ont., who was still sport­ing white pads with red trim, made some nice saves early, but Coyle cut the deficit to 2-1 at 9:10 when he scored his seventh on a re­bound.

Hutchin­son made a nice stop on a par­tial Parise break­away later in the pe­riod, one of his 18 saves in the open­ing 20 min­utes.

Min­nesota even­tu­ally got even at 5:09 of the sec­ond when Koivu swat­ted his sixth past a down-and-out Hutchin­son, but Ny­lan­der, who cut his blonde locks over the hol­i­days, replied with his first at 8:16 when he beat Dub­nyk up­stairs to make it 3-2.

The winger had just two points in his 11 pre­vi­ous games since his con­tract im­passe with the Leafs ended on Dec. 1 with a six-year, $45-mil­lion agree­ment.

Parise hit the cross­bar mo­ments later, but the Wild got back on level terms at 9:36 when Spur­geon was given all day to pick his spot on Hutchin­son, sneak­ing a shot through the net­min­der’s five­hole for his fifth.


Marner’s goal seven sec­onds into the game tied Char­lie Conacher’s team record set on Feb. 6, 1932 . ... Hutchin­son was 1-1-2 with an .839 save per­cent­age and a 4.18 goal­sagainst av­er­age in four games for the Pan­thers this sea­son, but was a re­spectable 43-3911 with a .910 save per­cent­age and a 2.65 GAA in 102 games be­tween 2013 and 2018 with Win­nipeg . ... Tavares and Matthews were named as Toronto’s all-star game rep­re­sen­ta­tives.


Toronto goalie Michael Hutchin­son takes a drink as Min­nesota play­ers cel­e­brate a goal by Zach Parise dur­ing a 4-3 Wild win over the Leafs on Thurs­day.

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