Leafs Can't Complete Rally, Fall To Wild

The Canadian Press | Monday, 03.23.2015 / 11:54 PM

TORONTO -- Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves in his 31st consecutive start for the Minnesota Wild to help them to a 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

Charlie Coyle and Thomas Vanek scored for the Wild (41-25-7), who won their ninth straight road game and franchise record 21st of the season.

"It starts with goaltending, first and foremost," coach Mike Yeo said. "With that, special teams have helped us. If you look at tonight, we had a big penalty kill in the second period and that was a key moment in the game. A huge part of it for us has also been our depth. We've had big contributions from different guys. Tonight we got two goals from our third line that really helped."

Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner ended Dubnyk's shutout bid at 13:36 of the third period. Jonathan Bernier made 30 saves for Toronto (27-41-6), which has lost six in a row.

In 31 straight starts for the Wild, Dubnyk is 23-6-1 with a 1.74 goals-against average, a .937 save percentage and five shutouts. He has allowed two or fewer goals in 23 of the 31 games.

"I really try to enjoy each game and use it as a chance to sharpen up those things that I have been working on that have helped my game," Dubnyk said. "When you get to play every other night for months on end, there are lots of opportunities and different experiences that allows you to work on those things."

After winning a faceoff to the right of the Toronto net, Coyle drove hard to the goal and swatted a loose puck past Bernier at 18:58 of the first period for his 11th goal of the season.

Vanek gave the Wild some breathing room at 9:08 of the third period when he scored his 19th goal of the season. Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter rushed the puck into the Toronto zone and spied Vanek open in the high slot. After accepting a precise drop pass from Suter, Vanek sent a low shot past Bernier.

The Maple Leafs pulled back to within a goal four minutes later when Gardiner scored his fourth goal of the season. Toronto left wing Joffrey Lupul, who was held without a point in his previous 17 games, released a slap shot that Dubnyk denied. But the puck squeaked through Dubnyk's legs and was in the goal crease where Gardiner poked it in.

"We had a lot of good chances in the third period," Maple Leafs coach Peter Horachek said. "I mean, we had 10 good scoring chances. I didn't like the chances we gave them, but other than that I thought there was a push back and an effort. We had lots of second chances and you hope one of those would go in. I thought we would tie it up."

Dubnyk said all the action has not worn him down and he hopes to start against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday.

"My body feels good," Dubnyk said. "That is the main thing. Mentally, with the importance of all the games, it is easy to get up for the games because we need to win them all. It is up to me to pay attention to how my body is feeling and if something is ailing, I let somebody know. The coach has done a great job of giving me practice time off and just letting me play the games."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
18:58MIN Charlie Coyle (11) ASST: Thomas Vanek (30) 1 - 0 MIN
2nd Period
3rd Period
09:08MIN Thomas Vanek (19) ASST: Ryan Suter (34), Justin Fontaine (19) 2 - 0 MIN
13:36TOR Jake Gardiner (4) ASST: Joffrey Lupul (11) 2 - 1 MIN
Three Stars of the Game
Devan Dubnyk
Devan Dubnyk
SA: 36TOI: 59:52
GA: 1EV: 30-31
PIM: 0PP: 3-3
SV%: .972SH: 2-2
Thomas Vanek
Thomas Vanek
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 12:53
Jonathan Bernier
Jonathan Bernier
SA: 32TOI: 58:42
GA: 2EV: 27-29
PIM: 0PP: 3-3
SV%: .938SH: 0-0
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:38MIN Charlie Coyle  Holding against  Zach Sill
02:43TOR Morgan Rielly  Tripping against  Erik Haula
2nd Period
00:04TOR Phil Kessel  Interference against  Nino Niederreiter
04:10MIN Jordan Leopold  Holding against  Richard Panik
09:09TOR James van Riemsdyk  Roughing against  Charlie Coyle
16:03MIN Thomas Vanek  Slashing against  Andrew MacWilliam
16:54TOR Dion Phaneuf  Fighting (maj) against  Kyle Brodziak
16:54MIN Kyle Brodziak  Fighting (maj) against  Dion Phaneuf
17:45MIN Erik Haula  Tripping against  Morgan Rielly
3rd Period
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/30/4
Faceoff Wins2635
Blocked Shots1413
Penalty Minutes1311
3C. CoyleC1021213:00
6M. ScandellaD0001018:21
9M. KoivuC0002018:49
11Z. PariseL0004017:53
14J. FontaineR0122011:56
20R. SuterD0114028:38
21K. BrodziakC00-10512:15
22N. NiederreiterR0004015:42
23S. BergenheimL00-1108:59
25J. BrodinD0002027:36
26T. VanekL1123212:53
29J. PominvilleR0002014:50
33J. LeopoldD000029:55
44C. StewartR0001015:44
46J. SpurgeonD0012021:08
55M. DumbaD0002014:20
56E. HaulaC00-10213:16
64M. GranlundC0001016:48
40D. Dubnyk3536.97259:52
2E. BrewerD00-10022:54
3D. PhaneufD00-11523:18
15J. LindstromC000108:15
18R. PanikL00-13015:45
19J. LupulL0103015:02
20D. BoothL0004011:59
21J. van RiemsdykL00-12222:15
22Z. SillC0002011:02
23T. SmithC00-12016:03
33T. ErixonD00-10014:54
42T. BozakC00-14022:13
44M. RiellyD0013222:23
47L. KomarovC0000012:33
51J. GardinerD1012024:41
53S. CarrickC001309:53
57A. MacWilliamD00-10012:15
67B. KozunR000008:24
81P. KesselR0006221:29
45J. Bernier3032.93858:42