Stalock, playing in place of the injured Dubnyk, picked up his fifth win of the season (5-3-1) and fifth career shutout in his first appearance against his former team. Dubnyk suffered the injury during the first period of Tuesday's game against the Calgary Flames, which the Wild won in a shootout. It was just one of those feelings in the room where you're like, 'I don't think we're going to lose tonight.
Minnesota Wild left wing Tyler Ennis (63) has the puck against Toronto Maple Leafs center Patrick Marleau (12) and defenseman Roman Polak (46), of the Czech Republic, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn. "Hopefully it's not too bad". The Wings have only one win in their last 11 games, and the Leafs beat them at Air Canada Centre 6-3 on Oct.18, so this contest provides a shot at salvation before the Buds head home for a special 2 p.m. game Tuesday at ACC against Carolina.
Boudreau has lamented the way his team has played in front of Stalock at times this season, as he's consistently been forced to make hard saves during his starts to keep the games close.
"I thought our team played solid", Ryan Suter said.
A two-goal lead was more than enough for Stalock, who stood tall down the stretch against the Maple Leafs, a team that kicked him to the curb a couple years ago. "He should be able to, unless he tells us there's something wrong, be able to play in that situation".
Ennis gave the Wild the lead late in the first period, scoring a goal maybe not-so-coincidentally one game after being scratched. But that doesn't excuse the Leafs' challenges at shot generation, and that problem continued in the opening period Thursday in Minnesota. But Coyle's shot clipped the post and Ryan Murphy's follow-up hit Andersen's dropped stick before it was covered.
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The Wild likely will call up a goalie from their minor league affiliate in Iowa to replace Dubnyk on Thursday. "I don't think either team gave up many opportunities so it was a night for the goaltenders that way". The Leafs are 5-0-1 this season without Matthews, who has 13 goals and 26 points in 26 games.
Injuries: Wild F Zach Parise (back) and G Devan Dubnyk (lower body) are out while D Jared Spurgeon (groin) is questionable. In two stints with the Leafs, Polak has collected 11 goals and 36 points.
With five games for the Wild in a seven-day stretch starting on Saturday against Edmonton, Dubnyk might not play again until after the three-day Christmas break. D Connor Carrick and RW Kasperi Kapanen sat out for Toronto, which concludes its three-game trip on Friday night in Detroit.
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