Nylander ties Borje Salming for 2nd-most goals by a Swede in team history, Leafs beat Wild 4-3
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Friday, November 25, 2022
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the team to beat right now. Coming off a game that snapped the New Jersey Devil’s 13 game winning streak, they head to Minnesota to beat the Wild in a “wild” matinee contest 4-3. They’ve grabbed at least a point in 12 of their last 13 games.
More problems for the Leafs defence, Jamie Benn has been ruled out week-to-week with an upper body injury he sustained last game against the New Jersey Devils. Victor Mete paired with Mac Hollowell on the third pair.
Nick Robertson was scratched in this one with Wayne Simmonds playing in his fifth game of the year. He has one assist in those five. The move was speculated to be made with the Wild’s acquisition of Ryan Reeves on Wednesday.
Mitch Marner opened the scoring on a seeing eye shot that found its way past Marc Andre Fleury. With the goal Marner continues his NHL leading 15 game point streak.
It was. Back and forth affair in this one. Kirill Kaprizov scored on the powerplay to even things up with Zach Aston-Reese scoring 42 seconds later to give the Leafs the lead back. Fleury was mad at himself after the ZAR goal that snuck under him from a sharp angle, slamming his stick over the net. Leafs ended the first up 2-1.
Matt Boldy scored his eighth of the season to tie the game two and half minutes into the second period.
Calle Jarnkrok scored to give the team the lead. Jarnkrok was moved to the second line left wing spot next to John Tavares and Marner. Alex Kerfoot was moved to the fourth line with no goals in his last 17 games. Tavares assisted on this one for his second of the game, tying him with Marner for the team lead in points at 25.
The Leafs powerplay in the first two periods was abysmal to say the least. 0-3 is not ideal for the sixth best powerplay in the league but a total of three shots through all of them might be worse. Those three shots came on their first powerplay as well.
William Nylander sniped his fifth in his last six games past the blocker of Fleury to put the Buds up two. Nylander tied Leaf legend Borje Salming for the second most goals by a Swedish player in franchise history.
Nylander spoke before the game about the emotions he’s been feeling lately regarding Borje Salming. Teams around the NHL honoured the late Borje Salming who passed away Thursday after a long and tough battle with ALS. The Leafs did their best to honour him by wearing patches on their jerseys. A Swedish player for the Leafs was in on all four goals, Timothy Liljegren assisting on Marner’s, and Pierre Engvall assisting on ZAR’s. They led 4-2.
The Wild pulled Fleury with just under four and half minutes to go in the game trailing by two. Mats Zuccarello scored a minute later to bring the game to 4-3 with three and a half to go.
That was all they could get. Matt Murray made a beautiful diving stop off Kaprizov with 15 seconds left saving it with his foot. Prior to this one, Matt Murray since returning from injury is 3-0-1 with a .946 save percentage. He allowed three in this one but moves to 4-1-1.
The Leafs hold on to win this one 4-3 and win their second straight moving to 12-5-5 on the season.
Toronto travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins tomorrow.
TOR Scoring: Marner (5), Aston-Reese (3), Jarnkrok (5), Nylander (11)
MIN Scoring: Kaprizov PP (12), Boldy (8), Zuccarello (7)