Mikko Koivu Has Goal, Two Assists in Wild’s Win Over Maple Leafs


TORONTO — Mikko Koivu scored one goal and assisted on two others in the second period as the Minnesota Wild ended the Toronto Maple Leafs' two-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory Tuesday night.

Marek Zidlicky broke a 1-1 tie at 5:44 of the second period. Then, 26 seconds after Koivu beat Jonas Gustavsson at 17:29, Greg Zanon made it 4-1.

Niklas Backstrom made that stand up with 37 saves for the Wild (7-10), who also got goals from Martin Havlat and Owen Nolan into an empty net to win for the fourth time in five games. Minnesota won in Toronto for the first time (1-4) since joining the NHL in 2000-01.

Alexei Ponikarovsky and Phil Kessel scored for the Maple Leafs (3-8-5), who earned points in seven straight games (3-0-4). Toronto failed to build on the momentum of Saturday's 5-1 win over Detroit.

Compounding matters, defenseman Mike Komisarek left the game because of a lower-body injury after taking just six shifts for 2 minutes, 47 seconds of ice time. There was no immediate word on the severity of his injury.

Trying to give his team a spark midway through the second, Leafs coach Ron Wilson moved Matt Stajan from the fourth line to the first with Kessel and John Mitchell. Kessel ripped a shot off the post on a power play soon after, but that was as close as that trio came to scoring.

Stajan was back between Colton Orr and Wayne Primeau to start the third while Jason Blake returned to the top unit.

The Wild took two penalties in quick succession, setting up a three-man skating advantage for the Leafs once they pulled Gustavsson, but Backstrom shut the door until Nolan's empty-netter with 3 seconds left iced it.

Minnesota decided the game in the second period.

Given a two-man advantage when Ponikarovsky flipped the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty, Zidlicky broke the tie when his slap shot from the point got between Gustavsson and the post.

The Wild extended that lead to 3-1, taking advantage of an exhausted Leafs unit left on the ice following an icing call. Antti Mitettinen forced a turnover in the corner after the faceoff and sent a pretty pass in front to Koivu, who tipped it past Gustavsson.

Zanon's point shot then hit a couple of Toronto sticks in front and flew past Gustavsson.

Havlat opened the scoring at 17:42 of the first period.

Minnesota's lead lasted just 26 seconds, as Ponikarovsky whipped a shot from the side of the net through Backstrom.

Forwards Jamal Mayers and Jay Rosehill, along with defenseman Garnet Exelby, were healthy scratches for the Maple Leafs. … Wild forward Petr Sykora is out indefinitely after sustaining a concussion Saturday against Dallas. Defenseman John Scott was Minnesota's other scratch. … Komisarek is in his first season with the Maple Leafs after signing a five-year, 22.5-million deal.

Previous Article

Miikka Kiprusoff, Flames Shut Out Canadiens

Next Article

Senators Slip Past Oilers in Shootout

Picked For You