The Winnipeg Jets are heading home with seven out of a possible ten points over the course of a five-game road trip.
The Jets exploded for three third period goals on their way to a 5-2 triumph over the Maple Leafs on Saturday.
“We saved the best game for last in a hard gritty effort,” said head coach Paul Maurice following the win.
Winnipeg saw five different players chip in on the scoresheet with Mason Appleton (8), Paul Stastny (9), Adam Lowry (5), Nikolaj Ehlers (14) and Mark Scheifele (12) collecting the markers.
Appleton, Scheifele and Lowry all added an assist in addition to lighting the lamp.
“This was all player driven. It wasn’t a coaching win tonight. I think the players really bared-down on some of the basic parts of the game and that’s where we won it,” Maurice continued.
Laurent Brossoit picked up his fifth win in six starts this season and his first career win against the Leafs. He faced 22 shots while allowing a pair goals for a .909 save percentage.
He’s now 5-1 when starting this season.
“He’s so athletic and so quick,” said Jets’ forward Adam Lowry.
“He was solid all night. I think he did a real good job of not really allowing many second chances or loose pucks around the crease. You can’t say enough of how well he played.”
At the other end, Fredrick Andersen saw his record fall to 13-6-2 while putting aside 27 pucks throughout the evening.
Jake Muzzin (2) and William Nylander (12) both found twine for the Leafs.
The win sees Winnipeg improve to 17-8-2 this season. Toronto drops to 19-8-2.
The Jets have now pulled within four points of the first-place Leafs with a pair of games in hand.
Pierre Engvall beat Brossoit from the near-side faceoff dot just 1:30 into the game.
Paul Maurice challenged the play for a hand pass by Travis Dermott at the blue line prior to the goal. After a lengthy review, the goal was called off and the game remained scoreless.
Mark Scheifele was sent to the box for tripping up John Tavares, marking the first period’s only penalty.
The Leafs failed to capitalize on the man advantage as the game stayed deadlocked at zero through the opening twenty minutes.
The Montreal Canadiens rolled their way to a 7-1 win the last time Winnipeg didn’t score in the first. That was exactly one week ago.
Since the blowout loss, the Jets have scored seven goals in two games and they continued that trend early in the second.
Mason Appleton raced to the net as Adam Lowry gained the zone. Lowry hit Appleton in the skates right in front of Frederik Andersen and the puck found its way past the line.
The tally marked Appleton’s eighth of the season and second when lining up against Toronto.
But Toronto got to work scoring twice in just over two minutes. The first came courtesy of a short-handed Jake Muzzin wrister from the slot. Zach Bogosian was serving a penalty for slashing Blake Wheeler at the time of the goal.
Believe it or not, that was Toronto’s first short-handed goal of the season.
William Nylander captured the lead for the Leafs, firing a shot off the pad of Brossoit and in.
With 3:26 left in the middle frame, Paul Stastny ensured that Winnipeg didn’t go into the locker room down on the scoreboard.
The 35-year-old tipped a Mark Scheifele wrister past Andersen to knot the game up at two.
Winnipeg outshot Toronto 12-9 in the second period after the teams collected seven shots apiece in the first period.
After a quiet start to the final period, the Jets’ third line struck again at 12:21.
Adam Lowry slid one underneath Andersen’s pad following a behind-the-net feed from Mason Appleton.
The goal gave Winnipeg their second lead of the game and the boys in blue weren’t done yet.
Nikolaj Ehlers took advantage of a Mathieu Perreault screen, notching his third goal and fourth point in the last two contests.
Things went from bad to worse for the Leafs as head coach Sheldon Keefe was given a bench minor penalty.
Mark Scheifele scored on the ensuing powerplay to firmly put the Jets up 5-2.
The third period became the difference-maker yet again for Winnipeg this season as the Jets trotted off the ice 5-2 victors.
“The teams that have success in the playoffs are the teams that keep on ramping it up as the year goes on,” said Scheifele.
“We have to use this series for the rest of the season to know when we’re at our best to be the best team we can be.”
Winnipeg outshot Toronto 12-5 in the third, outscoring them 3-0.
“I think we have a really smart hockey team and they learn on the fly. That’s what I’m coming away with tonight,” said Maurice.
After polishing off a five-game eastern road swing, the Jets head back to Bell MTS Place with seven of a possible ten points.
It’ll be a quick stop at home with the Montreal Canadiens in town for a pair of games on Monday and Wednesday.
Paul Edmonds and Jamie Thomas will have both calls on 680 CJOB at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively.
Kelly Moore will hit the airwaves two hours before puck drop with the Anchor Products pre-game show.
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