ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Kyle Brodziak, Jared Spurgeon and Mikko Koivu scored, Darcy Kuemper made 34 saves, and the Minnesota Wild beat the short-handed Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Friday.
After Cody Franson’s 5-on-3 goal tied it at 1 early in the third period, Spurgeon unloaded a slap shot from the right circle to beat goalie Jonathan Bernier with 12:17 to play.
Less than 2 minutes later, Koivu scored on the power play to make it 3-1 and give Minnesota its first home win in its past five games.
Brodziak tipped in a pass from Charlie Coyle at 10:14 of the second to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.
Earlier in the second, the Leafs appeared to score, but Mike Santorelli’s goal was waived off after the officials huddled and determined that David Clarkson made contact with Kuemper in the crease.
Toronto, the NHL’s highest-scoring team at 3.29 goals per game, played without forwards Joffrey Lupul, Peter Holland and Nazem Kadri. The three veterans have totaled 57 points this season and were hurt in Toronto’s shootout win over Boston on Wednesday.
James van Riemsdyk, Toronto’s second-leading scorer, left the game bleeding after taking a puck to the face late in the third, but returned for his final shift.
Bernier had 26 saves.
Minnesota went 4-8 in December and fell to 11th in the Western Conference. The Wild had a similar swoon last December, but went 23-10-7 in the new year to reach the playoffs.
NOTES: Lupul (lower body) and Holland (upper body) were back in Toronto for further evaluation. Kadri, who stayed in the game and scored a shootout goal Wednesday, made the trip to Minnesota, but was scratched and is also expected to miss Saturday’s game in Winnipeg with a lower-body injury. … With LW Brett Sutter out (illness) and LW Jason Zucker missing his fourth game with an illness, Minnesota recalled C Tyler Graovac from AHL Iowa.
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