(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs look to pull even on their seven-game road trip Friday night as they visit the Minnesota Wild and Xcel Energy Center.
The Maple Leafs snapped a two-game slide with Wednesday's 4-3 shootout win over the Boston Bruins, improving to 2-3-0 on their swing that concludes on Saturday night in Winnipeg.
Toronto won for just the second time in seven games on Nazem Kadri's winner in the fifth round of the tiebreaker. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist to reach 500 career points, while James van Riemsdyk and Leo Komarov also scored.
After missing the previous two games with the flu, Jonathan Bernier returned to make 25 saves.
"That was probably as good of a win as we are going to have all year," said Kadri.
Though Komarov returned from a concussion to play for the first time since Nov. 29, forward Joffrey Lupul exited Wednesday's win with a lower-body injury and has since been placed on injured reserve. Center Peter Holland is also out for tonight with an upper-body ailment.
Toronto figures to use both Bernier and James Reimer over the next two nights and both have solid career numbers against the Wild. Bernier is 3-1-3 versus them with a 1.11 goals against average, .956 save percentage and three shutouts in seven games, while Reimer has won both of his starts in this series with a 0.50 GAA, .985 save percentage and one shutout.
The Maple Leafs are 8-3-1 all-time versus the Wild, though they did have a three-game series winning streak snapped in the most recent encounter, a 2-1 shootout victory by Minnesota at home on Nov. 13, 2013.
The Wild have struggled to a 1-3-3 record over their past seven and are coming off Wednesday's 3-1 setback to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Zach Parise scored in the first period and Darcy Kuemper was perfect until allowing a fluke goal with 46 seconds to go in the middle frame. He lost his goal-stick on a save and attempted to retrieve it after Christian Folin cleared the puck out of the crease, but the disc went right to Columbus' Kevin Connauton and he was able to wrist the puck home to tie the game.
"I dropped my stick on the save before, and the puck got shot into the corner, so I went to pick it up," said Kuemper. "It shot right out to the guy for the one-timer, and as I was picking it up, he shot it."
Kuemper ended with 23 saves on 25 shots faced.
Minnesota will visit Dallas on Saturday and Kuemper was blitzed for three goals on seven shots the only other time he faced the Maple Leafs, lifted after 32 minutes of work.
Niklas Backstrom, recently activated off injured reserve following an illness, is 2-2-0 versus Toronto with a 2.40 GAA and .917 save percentage.
Defenseman Jonas Brodin is probable to return for the Wild tonight after missing the last two games with an upper-body issue.