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Updated: November 13th, 2013 9:55pm
Harding grabs 19 saves while sick as Wild top Leafs 2-1 in shootout

Harding grabs 19 saves while sick as Wild top Leafs 2-1 in shootout

by The Associated Press
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Zach Parise and Jason Pominville scored in the shootout, lifting the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Parise tied the game late in the third period for Minnesota, which has won five of six and is 8-1-2 in its last 11. The Wild have been involved in three straight shootouts -- winning two.

Mason Raymond scored a power-play goal for Toronto, which has scored just three regulation goals in its last four outings. Jonathan Bernier had 33 saves.

In the shootout, Parise beat Bernier low on the left side before Josh Harding stopped Raymond. Mikko Koivu was stopped by Bernier and Phil Kessel lost control of the puck before Pominville beat Bernier through the pads for the win.

Parise tied it with 4:17 to play in regulation when, after a turnover by Kessel, Charlie Coyle's shot from low on the right side deflected off Parise's skate and into the net.

Toronto nearly won it late in overtime, but Harding got a right pad on a tip by Morgan Rielly and then reached back to grab the puck just outside the goal line.

Harding had 19 saves in relief of Niklas Backstrom.

Starting his first game since Oct. 28, Backstrom was run over by Toronto's Nazem Kadri 7 minutes into the game, and lay flat on the ice for about 30 seconds before slowly sitting up. Kadri's elbow appeared to hit Backstrom in the head.

Backstrom stayed in the game until a timeout with 10:31 left in the period before skating to the bench and heading to the dressing room. He had three saves.

Harding started the past five Wild games was to be given the night off due to sickness. Instead, he entered the game leading the league in goals-against average (1.22) and was second in save percentage (.947) among goalies that have played more than six games.

There wasn't much he could do as Raymond gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead at 7:32 of the second period.

The puck was kept in the Wild zone at the blue line and passed to Kadri, who quickly passed it to Rielly at the top of the slot. His shot hit traffic and Raymond, who scored twice in a 4-1 win over the Wild Oct. 15, cut across the crease, gathered the puck and tucked it behind a sprawled Harding. It was just Toronto's second power-play goal in 16 chances over six games.

Minnesota had two power plays early in the third period, but came no closer than Koivu hitting the crossbar.

The Wild were given an even better opportunity midway through the period when Kadri was assessed a match penalty for illegally hitting Mikael Granlund in the head. However, Minnesota heard plenty of boos from the crowd as it got off just one shot during the man-advantage. Kadri likely faces a long suspension.

© The Associated Press
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