The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their early-season road dominance on Wednesday, collecting a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets to improve to a perfect 5-0-0 in away games this season.
John Tavares scored his seventh goal of the season, converting a pass from Mitchell Marner at the 8:28 mark of the third period after Marner had driven towards Winnipeg’s net. Tavares’ goal was an important momentum changer, as the Jets had scored twice earlier in the period to narrow Toronto’s lead to a single goal.
Kasperi Kapanen opened the scoring with an unassisted marker at 14:38 of the first period, shooting it through traffic with the Maple Leafs creating pressure in Winnipeg’s end.
After going scoreless in Toronto’s first nine games, Nazem Kadri ended his season-opening slump 11:43 into the second period, as his wrist shot from the circle got past Connor Hellebuyck.
Tyler Ennis also scored for the Leafs in the period, tipping in a Josh Leivo point shot at the 2:25 mark. The goal was Ennis’ first of the season and first in a Maple Leafs jersey after playing for the Minnesota Wild last season.
The Jets were plagued by missed shots in the first two periods, and perhaps were still working out the chemistry on some new line assignments. Patrik Laine was moved alongside Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele on Winnipeg’s top line, with Kyle Connor moving back to join Nikolaj Ehlers and Bryan Little on the second line.
Winnipeg’s offense finally got on track when Ehlers converted a Jacob Trouba pass at 4:57 of the third period. The goal ended a long drought for Ehlers, who had not scored in his previous 26 games (including playoffs).
Just 1:31 later, Scheifele scored on the power play to further continue Winnipeg’s tendency for late-game scoring prowess. Of the Jets’ 31 goals this season, 18 have come in the third period or overtime. After Toronto held a 28-18 edge in shots over the first two periods, the Jets outshot Toronto by a 22-11 margin in the third.
The Jets suffered their first regulation loss on home ice this season, dropping to 5-1-1 in their own arena.
—Field Level Media