Post-Game Analysis: Leafs Beat Wild 2-1 in Overtime at Scotiabank Arena

Maple Leafs Forward William Nylander Mid-Shot in Game at Scotiabank Arena
Maple Leafs Forward William Nylander Mid-Shot in Game at Scotiabank Arena Photo credit: Maple Leafs Twitter

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Minnesota wild 2-1 in overtime last night at Scotiabank Arena! After an important victory in Columbus, the Minnesota Wild traveled to Toronto for the second back-to-back game. The Wild gave the Leafs all sorts of trouble, but the blue and white emerged victorious after an insane solo play from Leafs forward William Nylander. 

The Minnesota Wild came in waves at the Maple Leafs during the opening period. After working the Maple Leafs on the forecheck, it just felt like sooner or later, the Wild were going to get one, and they did. Despite the shot totals being close to even, the puck possession numbers were not. 

Minnesota Wild forward Brandon Duhaime banked a shot off Maple Leafs forward Calle Järnkrok’s skate. The shot ricocheted in front, ending up in the back of the Maple Leafs’ goal. This was the Minnesota Wild forward’s 7th goal of the season, giving Minnesota a 1-0 lead 12:10 into the first period.

After the Wild opened the scoring, the blue and white started to find their rhythm. After getting beaten down low in their own end, Toronto finally started to do some of their own. This time scoring late for the Maple Leafs was unlikely hero David Kampf! After William Nylander controlled the puck behind the Minnesota goal, the Maple Leafs star then played a quick pass in front for his teammate David Kampf to cash in. The Maple Leafs tied the game late in the first period with only 3:53 to go before intermission. 

After a much better second half in the opening period, the Maple Leafs looked to continue their momentum. However, in the middle frame, the Minnesota Wild came close early. A self-forced turnover by Wild forward Mats Zuccarello turned into a Minnesota chance that nearly went in. The 35-year-old Wild forward attempted a pass across the Maple Leafs’ goal but was broken up by a defenseman leading the puck to change direction. The bounce caught everyone off guard as the Wild forward’s pass hit the lower post of Ilya Samsonov’s goal. 

The second period in this one was pretty back and forth; a real close opportunity arose for newly acquired Maple Leaf Ryan O’Reilly, but the 32-year-old was turned aside by the arm of Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson. After circulating some pressure late in the period, the Toronto Maple Leafs just couldn’t add a second one. The shots in the middle frame finished with a 12-10 advantage for the Minnesota Wild.

After a pretty tight middle frame, the third period was even more so to finish this one out. After both goaltenders started to settle into this one tonight, it was a tough night for goalscorers. The Maple Leafs were awarded a power play after Wild defenseman Jacob Middleton was called for tripping. Just when Scotiabank Arena started to make noise, the Maple Leafs’ momentum was sucked right out after the Wild’s strong penalty kill. After play went back to even strength, a few minutes later, it was now Toronto’s chance to kill off the Minnesota power play after Leafs’ star Mitch Marner was also called for tripping. The Wild came close on the power play but ultimately couldn’t capitalize, sending this one to overtime. 

After a real low-event hockey game between two teams who very well have some serious skill offensively, it was time for some three-on-three. About a minute into the bonus action, Wild forward Freddy Gaudreau was stick-lifted by Maple Leafs’ star William Nylander. Once the Leafs forward had possession, Nylander cut outside to beat the Wild defenseman and then cut back inside across Filip Gustavsson, scoring an absolutely ridiculous goal. The Maple Leafs’ star scored his 33rd goal of the season, clinching the full two points for the blue and white on home ice. 

It was certainly a fun one tonight at Scotiabank Arena. It was definitely a game that had a mix of everything, from hits, goals, and saves. The Minnesota Wild clearly planned to play a stingy game, locking up another point on the road. However, William Nylander stole the show to cap off the night. The Maple Leafs will now look to Sunday’s test in Seattle against the Kraken. 

Thanks for reading! For more Leafs’ content, follow me on Twitter at ITR_Anselmo

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Joshua Anselmo

A hockey mind that's always looking at new and insightful ways to bring different perspectives of the game we all love.

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