The Minnesota Wild will try to extend their winning streak to five games Friday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Minnesota opened a two-game trip Thursday night with a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets as Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots to earn his 73rd career shutout.
The Maple Leafs are coming off a 6-3 road victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, Ryan O’Reilly scored three goals in his third game with Toronto and Mitchell Marner had a career-best five assists.
In Columbus, Fleury was at his best during a third-period flurry by the Blue Jackets.
“We didn’t expect anything different from (Fleury),” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “If anyone did, then they haven’t watched his entire career.”
Brandon Duhaime and Kirill Kaprizov scored first-period goals for Minnesota.
“Our first key was discipline,” Evason said. “We’ve had problems with it this year. I think every team probably does. But our group, if we stay out of the penalty box, it gives our five-on-five game a chance to score five-on-five and it gives our penalty kill a chance to have success. So, we have to continue to harp on staying out of the box.”
Minnesota put defenseman Jonas Brodin (lower-body injury) on injured reserve on Thursday.
The Wild recalled defenseman Dakota Mermis from the Iowa of the American Hockey League, where the 29-year-old had five goals and 19 assists in 46 games.
Mermis and Calen Addison were into the lineup at Columbus with Jon Merrill (illness) not with the team.
“Mermis and Addy came in and played extremely well,” Evason said.
Minnesota forward Marcus Foligno played his first game since he blocked a shot with his left knee on Feb. 13 against the Florida Panthers.
“We liked our defense, period,” Evason said. “The six guys that played and obviously (Fleury), but the forwards, too. We competed. …
“To have a lead and play a stingy defensive game is absolutely perfect for us.”
The Wild defense will face a stern test against the Maple Leafs.
O’Reilly and Noel Acciari were obtained in a trade on Feb. 17 from the St. Louis Blues. They made an immediate impact in games before having their first practice with the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
“Obviously, they’re excited to be here,” Toronto center Auston Matthews said. “It’s been fun to get to know them. We’ve gotten a big boost (from them), a lot of really good energy is flowing. That’s what you look for when you pick up key guys like that.
“We’ve been really welcoming. I think they’ve come in here and made themselves at home and it’s been a lot of fun.”
O’Reilly is playing center on a line with Marner and John Tavares, usually a center who moved to the wing.
Tavares had a goal and three assists on Tuesday and O’Reilly added an assist to give the line a total of 13 points.
The line produced three goals and nine points in the first 7:14 of the game.
“They were at their best right from the start,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “That line, our team in general, our team game in that first period, it was as dominant as we’ve been all season long. It was tremendous to see.”
Toronto announced Wednesday that defenseman Jake Muzzin (cervical spine injury) will be out for the rest of the season, including the playoffs.
–Field Level Media