Leafs Blank Jets 4-0

TheCheckingLine.com - The Toronto Maple Leafs handed Winnipeg their second loss in as many days on Thursday night as the Jets faced off against the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

The Jets came out with some energy in the first period, but that was quickly countered by the Leafs as they generated some quality scoring chances. Just 4:49 into the opening frame, Phill Kessel jumped on a nice pass from Joffrey Lupul to put Toronto up 1-0.

Toronto continued to up the pressure in the first, but Chris Mason stood strong between the pipes. Prior to tonight, Mason had won his last four starts.

In the second period, it didn't take long for the Leafs to take advantage of a noticeably tired Jets team. As the Jets took two consecutive penalties on the same play, Toronto would attack with the extra man, and Tim Connolly would put the Leafs up 2-0 just under two minutes into the second period. Winnipeg would kill the penalty that was not nullified by the goal, making the penalty kill successful for the 22nd time on 24 kills.

The first half of the second period saw the Jets play quite slow and nonchalant. However, as the 10-minute mark approached in the middle frame, Winnipeg began to up the pressure on the home team. The Jets pounded the leafs with hits and controlled the puck in the offensive zone for the better half of the period. Unfortunately, no quality scoring chances were generated by the Jets and at the end of the second the Leafs were still up by 2.

As the third period started, Winnipeg could not maintain their energy that they acquired at the end of the previous frame. Toronto took advantage of that as Carl Gunnarson fired home a shot from the slot on a lazy read by the Winnipeg defence and the Jets found themselves down by three just 4 minutes into final period.

Midway through the third, captain Andrew Ladd found himself in a familiar place; coming out of the penalty box before his penalty had expired. Clarke Macarthur received a nice pass from Mikhail Grabovski to put more salt in the Jets' wound, and scoring what would be the final goal of the game, capping a 4-0 win for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Game Notes:

- Dion Phaneuf was in the face by a puck late in the 3rd and did not return.

- Winnipeg is now 0-6-0 when playing the 2nd game of a back to back


Next up for Winnipeg - the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.