TORONTO – Magnus Paajarvi’s textbook power-play goal late in the first period held up as the Chicago Wolves earned a crucial 2-1 victory over Toronto on Wednesday night at Ricoh Coliseum.
Defenseman Joel Edmundson also scored for the Wolves (35-25-6-1), who entered the night just 2 points ahead of the Marlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference race.
Goaltender Jordan Binnington (22-13-4) posted 27 saves as Chicago extended its winning streak to six games, which is the franchise’s longest since Feb. 2010.
Toronto (32-26-9-0) scored first on an unlikely goal by defenseman Viktor Loov at 4:40 of the first period. Skating along the red line toward the benches, Loov lifted the puck in the net’s general direction and it deflected off Binnington’s blocker and went in.
The Wolves needed just 44 seconds to pull even. Edmundson gained control of the puck at the top of the right circle, eluded a pair of Marlies and ripped a shot from the faceoff dot that beat goaltender Christopher Gibson. Brent Regner and Jacob Doty earned assists.
After having a Jeremy Welsh power-play goal overturned due to a high-stick violation on his deflection, the Wolves kept working and earned a power-play goal at 17:28 of the first to take the lead for good.
Pat Cannone worked the puck from the left half-wall to Shane Harper in front of the crease. Harper sent a no-look backhand pass to Paajarvi coming down from the weak side and he rifled a one-timer past Gibson.
Gibson (21-16-3) finished with 16 saves in the loss.
— courtesy Chicago Wolves