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Leafs make most of chances, top Wild

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs made the most of their shots Tuesday in defeating the Minnesota Wild 4-1.

They had only three shots in the first period and scored on two of them.

Overall, the Wild had a 37-14 advantage in shots on goal but the Maple Leafs got two goals by Mason Raymond, including one into the empty net, and outstanding goaltending from James Reimer.

"I've had a few 4-1 losses but not many of them felt like that, that's for sure," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "We responded well the last time we faced something like this, we just have to bounce back."

The win at Air Canada Centre was the third in a row for the Maple Leafs (6-1-0).

"There are examples that we're not playing to a high enough level," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "But we're playing at a high enough level to win hockey games. It's a worry for coaches. Some night we're going to get our butt kicked playing like this."

Tyler Bozak and Trevor Smith also scored for Toronto and Cody Franson and Morgan Rielly added two assists apiece.

Raymond scored into an empty net with 59 seconds to play in the game, his fourth goal of the season.

Jason Pominville scored for the Wild (3-2-2).

Reimer, in goal for the first time since Oct. 5 after Jonathan Bernier played the three previous games, was up to the task despite the Wild onslaught.

"I think as a team you'd rather face fewer shots because every shot has a chance to go in the net," Reimer said. "But as a goalie you like to feel the puck and get those shots. But you don't necessarily want scoring chances."

Reimer's saves included a couple of breakaways by Mikael Granlund.

"We played a good game, sometimes you know you face a good goalie who has a good night," Granlund said. "We were unlucky sometimes. There's nothing else you can do. If we keep playing like that we're going to get wins."

Darcy Kuemper, playing his first game of the season in goal for the Wild, was replaced by Josh Harding during the second period after he allowed three goals on seven shots.

Reimer had sympathy for Kuemper because he did not face enough shots to get into a rhythm.

"I feel bad for him," Reimer said. "For him, his game was the hardest of the three (of the goalies who played in the game)."

"In fairness to him, that's a tough situation for a young goalie," Yeo said. "He's putting pressure on himself. He's cold. We're not pinning this on him by any means."

The Maple Leafs led 2-1 after the first period, then scored their second power-play goal of the game at 12:23 of the second period. Raymond netted his third goal of the season on a wrist shot from the right side of the goal.

Harding took over from Kuemper after the goal and did not face a shot for the remainder of the period. Harding handled all six shots he faced in the third period before he was replaced for an extra attacker and the Leafs added the empty-net goal.

The Maple Leafs were outshot 18-3 in the first period but produced two of the three goals in the period. They scored on a power play at 4:24 as Bozak picked up his third goal of the season. He was at the right side of the goal when he knocked in a pass from Dave Bolland. Dany Heatley took a slashing penalty at 3:04, negating the Wild power play that started at 1:47 when Jake Gardiner was called for holding.

Smith, who was recalled Tuesday from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf at 13:51 of the first when his shot from the left faceoff circle trickled past Kuemper. Smith broke in after taking an adroit pass from Rielly.

Pominville countered with his third goal of the season with a man advantage at 17:27 -- 17 seconds after Raymond took a high-sticking penalty -- when he knocked in his own rebound.

NOTES: Toronto LW James van Riemsdyk, who was tied for the team lead with five goals, left the team's morning skate and did not play Tuesday night because of an undisclosed injury. ... Wild G Niklas Backstrom (knee strain) did not play for the fourth game in a row. He is listed as day-to-day. ... Minnesota beat the Sabres 2-1 at Buffalo on Monday, with Pominville, a former Sabres captain, scoring the winning goal. ... The Wild will play the third game of a four-game trip Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. ... Toronto plays host to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. ... The game drew a crowd of 19,283.
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