(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try for their first victory in
Winnipeg in over 17 years when they visit the Jets for Thursday's meeting at
Toronto's last victory in Winnipeg was on Nov. 1, 1995, when the Leafs downed
the original Jets, who are now known as the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Maple Leafs and Winnipeg split four meetings in 2011-12, but the home team
won every game in the season series. The Jets, who relocated from Atlanta to
Winnipeg prior to last season, are off to an excellent start at home this
season, posting a 3-1-0 mark as the host so far.
Both the Maple Leafs and Jets ended losing streaks in their last outings.
Toronto halted a two-game slide with Tuesday's win at Washington, while
Winnipeg posted an overtime win over Florida on the same night to end a string
of three straight defeats.
Winnipeg went 0-3 during a three-game road trip, but rebounded with Tuesday's
3-2 victory over the visiting Panthers. Bryan Little netted the deciding goal
with 15.2 seconds left in overtime to lift the Jets.
Little's game-winning goal came on the power play after Florida's Filip Kuba
was whistled for tripping with 2:10 remaining in the extra period.
The Jets could not put together much offensive pressure during the man
advantage as the Panthers kept clearing the puck out of their zone, but one of
those clears led to a late rush, which saw Little receive a pass after
breaking free in the slot. He then fired a wrister past Florida netminder
Scott Clemmensen's glove and inside the right post for the deciding tally.
"It's nice to win after a tough road trip. but it would have been nice to get
the two points clean," said Little. "I think it was a pretty sloppy game, but
you know two is better than nothing, so I think we're pretty happy with that."
Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart also scored for Winnipeg. Ondrej Pavelec made 17
The Jets played their third straight game without defenseman Dustin Byfuglien,
who is sidelined with a lower body injury. Byfuglien, who has three goals and
seven points on the year, is questionable for Thursday's contest.
Toronto jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Tuesday and then held on for the 3-2 win
over the Capitals. James van Riemsdyk netted Toronto's first two goals, giving
him six tallies on the season.
"I got some lucky bounces and I was able to put them in," van Riemsdyk said
about his goals.
Korbinian Holzer also scored, while Ben Scrivens stopped 24 shots for Toronto.
Holzer, who was recalled from Toronto's AHL affiliate to fill in for injured
defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, posted the first goal of his NHL career.
Gunnarsson is questionable for Thursday's contest with a strained hip.
Toronto is 4-1-0 as the road team this year compared to a 1-4-0 mark at home.
The Leafs are playing the middle test of a three-game swing on Thursday and
will close the trip Saturday in Montreal.
The Sports Network