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NHL Preview: Minnesota Wild (31-21-5) at Toronto Maple Leafs (35-15-8)


All-Time Wild Record: 13-14-0 (8-5-0 at Xcel Energy Center, 5-9-0 at Toronto)

2022-23: Minnesota fell 4-3 in the series-opening game at Xcel Energy Center (11/25)…The Wild received two-point performances from D Alex Goligoski (0-2=2), LW Kirill Kaprizov (1-1=2) and RW Mats Zuccarello (1-1=2)…G Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24-of-28 shots faced for the Wild…C John Tavares led the Maple Leafs with two points (0-2=2))…Toronto received goals from C Zach AstonReese (1-0=1), C Calle Jarnkrok (1-0=1), RW Mitchell Marner (1- 0=1) and RW William Nylander (1-0=1)…G Matt Murray saved 25- of-28 shots faced for the Maple Leafs.

WILD LEADERS: Zuccarello leads the Wild with 25 points (12- 13=25) in 22 contests against Toronto…Goligoski has 13 assists in 26 matches…LW Marcus Foligno owns 12 points (4-8=12) in 31 contests…D Jon Merrill owns eight points (2-6=8) in 19 games.

WILD GOALIES: G Marc-Andre Fleury is 19-13-4 with a 3.01 GAA, a .897 SV% and one shutout in 38 career games (35 starts) vs. the Maple Leafs…G Filip Gustavsson is 1-0-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .909 SV% in one career start (5/12/21).

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS: C Ryan O’Reilly leads Toronto with 33 points (16-17=33) in 53 contests against the Wild … D Mark Giordano has 25 points (9-16=25) in 51 games…Tavares has 20 points (8-12=20) in 20 matches…D Morgan Rielly has 13 assists in 16 contests.

MAPLE LEAFS GOALIES: Murray is 3-1-0 with a 2.51 GAA and a .914 SV% in four career starts against the Wild…G Ilya Samsonov has not faced Minnesota.

FAST FACTS: Minnesota is 10-6-0 in its last 16 games against Toronto, including a seven-game win streak (11/13/13-12/7/16)… The Wild has scored one goal or less in nine of its 14 all-time losses to the Maple Leafs…In its 13 wins, Minnesota has outscored Toronto, 42-20.

• The Wild has converted 28.4 percent (27 of 95) of power-play opportunities at home this season, fifth-best in the NHL.

• Since Jan. 19, Minnesota ranks second in the NHL with 12 power-play goals. Minnesota is 12-for-47 (25.6%) with the man advantage during that span, scoring a power-play goal in 11 of 15 contests.

• The Wild has killed 22 consecutive shorthanded situations and has not allowed a power-play goal in a season-high nine consecutive games dating back to Feb. 8 at DAL.

• For the season, the Wild is tied for seventh in the NHL with a 81.9 penalty-kill percentage (154 for 188).

• Since Nov. 8, Minnesota is third in the NHL with a 83.8 penalty-kill percentage (129 for 154).

• Minnesota is tied for sixth in the NHL with a 82.3 penalty-kill percentage (79 of 96) on the road this season.


Score: Toronto 6 at Buffalo 3
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2023
TOR Goals: O’Reilly, O’Reilly, Tavares, Bunting, Nylander (PP), O’Reilly (EN)
BUF Goals: Quinn, Tuch, Skinner
TOR Goaltender: Samsonov, 29/30, .906 SV%
BUF Goaltender: Luukkonen, 6/10, .600 SV% – Anderson, 17/18, .944 SV%
TOR Power Play: 1-for-2
TOR Penalty Kill: 1-for-1

Player Notes:

  • Ryan O’Reilly posted the fourth hat trick of his NHL career and the 21st multi-goal game of his NHL career. Per NHL Stats, “O’Reilly (3 GP) became the ninth player in Maple Leafs history to score a hat trick within his first three games with the club, a feat also achieved by teammates Auston Matthews (1 GP; Oct. 12, 2016) and John Tavares (3 GP; Oct. 7, 2018).” O’Reilly also recorded the primary assist on Tavares’ goal. O’Reilly tied a single-game NHL career-high four points, which he has marked on seven occasions during his NHL career.
  • John Tavares scored for the Maple Leafs at 7:14 of the first period and added three assists in Toronto’s win. Tavares recorded his second four-point game of the season and 14th game of his NHL career with four or more points. Tavares has scored in back-to-back games.
  • William Nylander scored on a Maple Leafs power play opportunity at 14:36 of the second period and recorded the secondary assist on Bunting’s goal. Nylander extended his current point streak to five games where he has posted nine points (4G, 5A). With his goal, Nylander posted the 50th power play goal of his NHL career and, per NHL Stats, “a mark only two other active players have achieved with the club: Auston Matthews (73) and Phil Kessel (52).”
  • Mitch Marner recorded the primary assist on all three of O’Reilly’s goals, the secondary assist on Tavares’ goal and the secondary assist on Nylander’s power play goal. With five assists, Marner set a new single-game NHL career-high. Per NHL Stats, “Marner (0-5—5) tied Pep Kelly (March 14, 1940 at MTL), Babe Pratt (Dec. 17, 1942 at MTL) and Borje Salming (Dec. 16, 1977 at MNS) for the most assists in a road game in franchise history.” Marner has posted 51 assists this season, the fourth time in his NHL career to surpass the 50-assist mark.
  • Morgan Rielly recorded the primary assist on Bunting’s goal. Rielly has recorded three assists through his last two games. With the assist, Rielly recorded the 331st assist of his NHL career, claiming sole possession of ninth place on the franchise leader board for most assists surpassing Ted Kennedy.
  • Ilya Samsonov stopped 29 of 32 shots he faced in Tuesday’s win. Samsonov earned his 20th win of the season improving to 20-7-2 record through 29 games. Per NHL Stats, “Samsonov required the second-fewest games to reach 20 career wins with the franchise behind Jack Campbell (27 GP from 2019-20 – 2020-21).”

2022-23 Matchups vs. Minnesota: Second of Two
2021-22 Record vs. Minnesota: 1-0-1
Toronto Season Record: 35-15-8
Toronto Home Record: 22-6-4

The Maple Leafs are scheduled to face-off against the Minnesota Wild tonight in the second of two matchups between the clubs this season. Toronto won their first meeting of the 2022-23 campaign against the Wild 4-3 on November 25th at Xcel Energy Center. John Tavares led the team in points during Toronto’s win with two assists. The Maple Leafs have earned at least one point in five-consecutive games against Minnesota (4-0-1). Toronto has posted a 22-6-4 record on home ice this season, currently the second-best home record in the league. Following tonight’s home appearance, the Maple Leafs begin a five-game road trip on Sunday against the Seattle Kraken. Mark Giordano has registered 2,041 blocks during his NHL career, currently three blocks away from tying Kris Russell for the all-time NHL record for most blocked shots. Giordano leads the Maple Leafs with 110 blocks this season. With five assists recorded on Tuesday night against Buffalo, Mitch Marner set a new single-game NHL career-high in assists. Marner leads the Maple Leafs in assists this season with 51, which ranks him fifth in league among assist leaders.

TV: TSN4 RADIO: Sportsnet 590

Date: Sunday, February 26, 2023
Opponent: at Seattle Kraken
Time: 7:00 pm ET
Broadcast Information: Sportsnet Ontario (TV), TSN 1050 (Radio)

February 18, 2023 The Maple Leafs have recalled goaltender Erik Källgren from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis. Forward Pontus Holmberg has been loaned to the Marlies.

February 17, 2023 The Maple Leafs acquired Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari in a three-team trade with St. Louis and Minnesota. St. Louis receives Mikhail Abramov and Adam Gaudette, Toronto’s 1st round pick in ’23, Ottawa’s 3rd round pick in ’23 and Toronto’s 2nd round pick in ’24. Minnesota receives Toronto’s 4th round pick in ’25. St. Louis will retain 50% and Minnesota will retain 25% of O’Reilly’s salary as part of the trade. Toronto also received Josh Pillar from the Minnesota Wild as part of the transaction.

February 15, 2023 The Maple Leafs have loaned forward Alex Steeves to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).

February 14, 2023 The Maple Leafs have recalled forward Pontus Holmberg, forward Alex Steeves and goaltender Joseph Woll from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).

Carl Dahlström Shoulder (LTIR)
Victor Mete Lower Body (LTIR)
Matt Murray Ankle (LTIR)
Jake Muzzin Neck (LTIR)
Nick Robertson Shoulder (LTIR)

First Matchup between Clubs: October 25, 2000 (Toronto 6 vs. Minnesota 1)
All-Time Record: 14-11-0-2 (27 Games)
All-Time Record at Home: 9-5-0-0 (14 Games)
All-Time Record on the Road: 5-6-0-2 (13 Games)
Last Home Win vs. Opponent: February 24, 2022 (Toronto 3 vs. Minnesota 1)

Games Played: Ryan O’Reilly (53), Mark Giordano (51), TJ Brodie (31)
Goals: Ryan O’Reilly (16), Mark Giordano (9), John Tavares (8)
Assists: Ryan O’Reilly (17), Mark Giordano (16), Morgan Rielly (13)
Points: Ryan O’Reilly (33), Mark Giordano (25), John Tavares (20)
Penalty Minutes: Mark Giordano (47), TJ Brodie (16), Alexander Kerfoot (12)

2022-23 AVERAGES
Points % GF/Game GA/Game PP% PK% SF/G SA/G FO%
Toronto .672 3.45 2.67 25.7 81.1 32.3 29.0 52.6
Minnesota .595 2.85 2.74 23.5 81.9 31.1 30.2 47.6

Power Play: 25.7%
Power Play Goal Leader: 11 – Tavares
Power Play Point Leader: 28 – Marner (6G, 22A)
2021-22 Power Play: 63/231 (27.3%)

ON THE PK IN 2022-23
Penalty Kill: 81.1%
Shorthanded Goal Leader: 2 – Marner
Shorthanded Point Leader: 3 – Järnkrok (1G, 2A), Marner (2G, 1A)
2021-22 Penalty Kill: 192/234 (82.1%)

Friday games 5th of 6 (4 home, 2 road)
Back-to-Backs played 9 of 14
Record in first game of back-to-back 6-3-0
Record in second game of back-to-back 5-3-1
February games 8th of 9 (5 home, 4 road)

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