for this game

Toronto takes down Minnesota

Jan 20, 2012 - 4:35 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Nazem Kadri scored less than a minute in and the Toronto Maple Leafs rolled to a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

Joey Crabb, Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski also found the back of the net for the Maple Leafs, who put the brakes on a three-game skid. Jonas Gustavsson made 20 saves in the win.

"We had a good start," said Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson. "We understood the importance of the game."

Nick Johnson had a goal while Niklas Backstrom stopped 29 shots for the Wild. They have dropped 11 straight road games.

"I've been coaching for quite a while and I've been a part of a lot of games I didn't like and this one ranks right up there," said Wild coach Mike Yeo.

Toronto scored only four goals during its recent slide, but equaled that total on Thursday. The offensive outburst started in a hurry, as Kadri slammed home a deflected Joffrey Lupul shot 50 seconds in.

Crabb then scored with a strong individual effort, charging hard to the left of the net, beating defenseman Jared Spurgeon, then wrapping the puck across the crease and under the outstretched Backstrom 5:11 into the first.

Kessel got in the act with under five minutes left in the second, taking advantage of the two-man advantage with a snap shot in close for a 3-0 lead.

Less than a minute into the third, Grabovski received a deft centering feed from Lupul and drove it home to make it 4-0. Johnson squeezed in a sharp- angle goal with 2:27 remaining.

Game Notes

This was the lone meeting between the teams this season...Kessel has two goals and two assists in his last six games.