April 1, 2018 / 2:18 AM / 8 months ago

Jets ride second-period surge past Maple Leafs

Josh Morrissey and Dustin Byfuglien scored 70 seconds apart to key a three-goal second period and goalie Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 in NHL action Saturday night in Toronto.

The Jets recorded their 11th win in March with the victory at Air Canada Centre, a franchise record for most in a calendar month. The Jets are all but sealed into the second spot in the Central Division.

After a scoreless first period, and falling behind 1-0 on Patrick Marleau’s power-play goal two minutes in the middle frame, the Jets took flight en route to snapping a four-game road losing skid.

Morrissey evened the count at the 8:30 mark of the second period. After Nikolaj Ehlers won a board battle and got the puck to the blue line, and with Paul Stastny setting screen in front of Toronto netminder Curtis McElhinney, Morrissey fired a point shot that made it through the maze and into the cage for his sixth goal of the season.

Stastny was in the same spot and doing the same job when Byfuglien put the Jets ahead with a power-play marker at 9:40. Shortly after Patrik Laine was denied on a couple of chances, Byfuglien gained the puck at the blue line and snapped a long shot off the bar and into the net.

Andrew Copp made it a 3-1 Jets lead with 2:36 left in the second period. Adam Lowry gained the puck behind the Toronto net and made a pass to Copp at the doorstep, whose quick release was too much for McElhinney to stop.

Marleau put the hosts on the board 2:02 into the second period with his 26th goal of the season, converting with a nifty redirection of a Auston Matthews’ pass from across the slot to give him goals in three consecutive games. Matthews has netted at least one point in all six games since returning from a shoulder injury — collecting three goals and seven points in that run.

The night was a double downer for the Maple Leafs, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. The club, which will finish third in the Atlantic Division, lost rookie defenseman Travis Dermott early in the first period when he blocked a shot with his left foot.

McElinney stopped 26 shots for the Maple Leafs.

—Field Level Media

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