PWHL Minnesota looks to stay sharp in Toronto


at Toronto, Mattamy Athletic Centre, 11 a.m. Saturday


Rachel Blount's preview:

Opening bell: The PWHL was invited to be part of the NHL's All-Star weekend in Toronto, with a 3-on-3 showcase Thursday and a Minnesota-Toronto matinee Saturday. The game, Minnesota's third in a row on the road, is the team's last before the league takes a 10-day pause for a national team break. Minnesota earned a road split last weekend, going to overtime in both a 4-3 loss at Boston and a 2-1 victory at New York. That extra time has been a theme; Minnesota has gone to overtime in four of its eight games, with a 2-2 record. While Minnesota remains tied with Montreal atop the PWHL standings (15 points each), Toronto is stuck at the bottom with a league-high five losses in regulation, including a 3-1 defeat at Minnesota Jan. 10.

Watch her: Minnesota goaltender Nicole Hensley got an assist last week, setting up the winning goal against New York. She's been equally brilliant at keeping pucks out of her net. Hensley has started five of Minnesota's eight games, holding opponents to two or fewer goals in each. She leads the PWHL in wins (four) and is second in goals-against average (1.58) and save percentage (.948).

Forecast: Toronto sits at the bottom of the PWHL in goals for (14) and against (23) and has lost three of its four home games. Minnesota, which has earned points in all four of its road games, has a great opportunity to close the first part of its schedule with a win.