Leafs double up Jets 6-3 Featured

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-William Nylander is the hottest scorer on a team loaded with offence. The 23 year-old winger fired a pair of goals and added an assist Thursday night to pace his Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Nylander fired the first and last goals for a sizzling Toronto team that has points in eight of their last nine contests, their only blemish a 5-4 loss to New Jersey in overtime.

"He just looks really confident and he's feeling it," said Maple Leafs Head Coach Sheldon Keefe of his young scorer. "His linemates have been good around him and he's been making plays to them and they've been making plays to him. He's putting himself in good spots. He's feeling it and he's making good on his chances. It's been fun to watch him here."

But if you ask Nylander he thinks finding open ice suits his game.

"Yeah, of course. The first (goal) was kind of off the forecheck. With the other one, [Kerfoot] could have maybe shot too or passed it. I was just trying to be an option for him there," he said.

Kasperi Kapanen had a goal and an assist for Toronto.

Travis Dermott, Pierre Engvall and Mitch Marner had single goals for the Maple Leafs, who won their second straight game on their two game road trip through the Central Division.

Frederik Andersen backstopped Toronto to the win, making 45 saves.

Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor each had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg, who have lost four of their last five contests.

Connor has 7 goals in his last 5 games.

Patrik Laine scored the other Jet goal.

Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit combined to make 22 saves for Winnipeg, who dropped to 22-16-3.

A pair of first period turnovers proved fatal for Winnipeg as they gave up a pair of goals from which they never recovered.

William Nylander gave Toronto the lead 3:24 into the first when a misplayed puck behind the net by Connor Hellebuyck ended in Nylander scoring his 18th goal of the season.

Nylander narrowly missed giving the Leafs a 2-0 lead shortly after the first goal, grazing the goalpost off a shot from the slot.

Kasperi Kapanen made it 2-0 at the nine minute mark when he took advantage of a Lucas Sbisa turnover and slid the disc between Hellebuyck's legs.

The goal was his 10th of the season.

The Jets scored on the power play early in the second to make it 2-1.

With Jason Spezza off for delay-of-game, Kyle Connor moved in and wired a wrister past Frederik Andersen to make it 2-1 at 3:45.

The goal was his 21st of the season.

Patrik Laine tied it up at 7:44 after moving past Leaf defenceman Morgan Reilly and firing from a sharp angle, beating Andersen along just inside the right post from the corner.

The goal was his 15th of the season.

Travis Dermott restored the lead for the Maple Leafs, shovelling the puck into the net after a a Alexander Kerfoot shot careened off the post and hit Hellebuyck in the seat of the pants.

Pierre Engvall made it 4-2 35 seconds later at 9:37 off a faceoff, beating Hellebuyck with a low shot after Jason Spezza won the draw.

Mark Scheifele made it 4-3 at 12:48, picking up the puck at centre ice before moving in to the top of the right circle and beating Andersen with low wrist shot, just inside the right post.

The goal was his 19th of the season.

The Leafs scored a late power play goal at 16:52 when Mitch Marner one timed a Tyson Barrie feed from just inside the top of the left faceoff circle which Hellebuyck could only get a piece of before it trickled into the net to make it 5-3.

The goal was his 17th of the season.

Laurent Brossoit started the third period in goal for Winnipeg after starter Connor Hellebuyck gave up five goals on just seventeen shots.

William Nylander scored 8:45 into the third for Toronto when Alexander Kerfoot found him beside the Winnipeg net and hit him with a pass from the slot.

He fired the disc just inside the right post to make it 6-3.

Winnipeg pulled their goaltender with 2:18 remaining.

Patrik Laine, whose second period tally tied the game said the Jets played well but overall he liked their defensive effort.

"Yeah, I think we made a couple bad reads defensively but I think we played some good defence at times and that kind of talent, we didn’t give them too much but, you know, gave them enough. They put up six and it’s hard to win when we give up six," he said.

Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice said turnovers proved to be costly.

"That would be the difference. I don't think they were (earned) on the first two and they're in the back of the net. Then you look at the number of chances we have that came off giveaways. I think after two we're at 12, they're at 11. Whether you trust that stat or not, we forced them into a bunch, they forced us into a bunch. They made more of what we gave them, other than the first two. The turnovers you don't like are a mental turnover, when you're trying to put a puck in a place it shouldn't go. Those ones you can show on video and say we can deal with. The ones that knuckle off a guy's stick and it's onto somebody else's tape. There's no prescription for that, right? It doesn't happen very often."

Both clubs next see action on Saturday.

The Maple Leafs kick off a three-game homestand against the New York Islanders while Winnipeg opens a four-game road trip in Minnesota.

SHOTS-TORONTO 28 WINNIPEG 48

ATTENDANCE-15,325

Last modified on Friday, 03 January 2020 06:46
Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.