No Auston Matthews? No problem for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
For at least one night, the Leafs showed they can prosper without the services of their young star, as they defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre.
It wasn’t easy, however. The Wild had nearly double the number of shots than Toronto, finishing with a 37-19 advantage. The Leafs were far more efficient on the night, though, and boosted by a stellar outing from goaltender Frederik Andersen.
“I’ve seen Freddie make better saves, but he was good,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He won them the game.”
Massive save from Frederik Andersen just before the Marleau goal pic.twitter.com/ARMuRFuECg
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) November 9, 2017
First star Freddie #TMLtalk pic.twitter.com/FOMXnXdL2h
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 9, 2017
Shots aside, Minnesota was simply the more aggressive team all over the ice. The Wild outhit Toronto by a large margin, and even held a significant advantage in face-offs won, but at the end of the night the Leafs were simply better in front of goal than the visitors.
Just feed it to Patty when he’s open like that. #MINvsTOR pic.twitter.com/yBJmMKKODX
— NHL (@NHL) November 9, 2017
Nazem Kadri, Patrick Marleau, Connor Carrick and Connor Brown each scored for the Leafs, while Minnesota’s Jason Zucker had goals in each of the first and third periods to make the game interesting.
Toronto ultimately prevailed, giving the team its second consecutive victory. The Leafs had lost five of six heading into this week and Wednesday’s victory improves their record to 10-7-0.