The Maple Leafs dropped a 2-1 decision to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night in a game that had Toronto coach Mike Babcock fuming at the referees.
With the game knotted at one apiece just past the midway point of the third period, Leo Komarov was called for a questionable interference penalty.
On the ensuing power play, Mikael Granlund converted a cross-ice pass from Tomas Vanek, getting the better of Leafs goalie Garret Sparks high on the glove side. In frustration, Babcock voiced his displeasure to the officials, resulting in another penalty – a bench minor.
The Leafs held the Wild off the scoreboard for the next two minutes, plus the end of the game, but Granlund’s goal held up as the game winner.
“I thought we got ripped off big time, today,” Babcock said. Altogether the Leafs were assessed four minor penalties, but not a single infraction was called against the Wild. “It makes no sense to me,” Babcock added. “The other thing I know is that the people didn’t pay to watch (the officials) play, they paid to watch the players. Don’t get involved in the game.”
Leafs prospects William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen – playing together for the third game in a row – generated a couple of dangerous scoring chances.
“I think we’ve had some good plays through this whole season and I think we’re really starting to find each other over here so hopefully we’ll start putting the puck in the net soon,” Kapanen said.
Jake Gardiner had Toronto’s only goal, firing a shot from the left point to open the scoring at 7:33 of the second period. Mikko Koivu tied the game less than four minutes later on a Wild power play.
Devan Dubnyk outduelled Garret Sparks between the pipes, Sparks making 20 saves in the loss.