One point from PWHL playoff spot, Minnesota faces difficult task at Toronto

PWHL Minnesota coach Ken Klee said his team is still in a "great spot,'' just one point away from clinching a playoff berth. But the path to earning that critical point gets tougher Wednesday, when Minnesota must face PWHL co-leader Toronto on the road.

Three consecutive losses already have spoiled Minnesota's chance to win home-ice advantage for the playoffs' first round. Toronto and Montreal have locked up the top two seeds and will host the first-round best-of-five series starting May 8. Those teams have 41 points each, with Minnesota next at 35. Boston and Ottawa are tied for the final playoff spot with 32 points each.

Minnesota is 0-3 since returning from the PWHL's three-week break for the world championships. It could not hold leads in two of those post-break games and has scored only one goal in its past seven periods of play. Though the team continues to generate quality scoring chances, its goal drought underscores how strong the goaltending has been in the PWHL's inaugural season.

"We've just got to stick with it," Minnesota goaltender Nicole Hensley said. "Keep doing the things that have made us really good over the course of the season."

Toronto has won two in a row and can clinch first place if it beats Minnesota in regulation.