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TORONTO (AP) The Winnipeg Jets had to wait nearly the entire season to make
up for an embarrassing home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the opener.

Josh Morrissey and Dustin Byfuglien scored 1:10 apart in the second period as
the Jets beat the Maple Leafs 3-1 on Saturday night.

Winnipeg lost 7-2 to Toronto to open the season on Oct 4 Authentic
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, and was also coming off a disappointing 6-2
loss in Chicago two nights earlier that ended a six-game winning
streak.

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”We kind of owed them one,” Morrissey said. ”We didn’t like the way the last
meeting went at the start of the year … and with the way we played in Chicago
the other night we really wanted to rebound.

”We had a lot of motivating factors.”

Andrew Copp had the other goal for the Jets, while Connor Hellebuyck stopped
28 shots in a matchup of the only two Canadian teams headed to the playoffs.

Winnipeg was eager to get back to playing a physical, defensively sound game
after the loss to the Blackhawks.

”We were on the puck much better,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. ”That’s a
(Toronto) group that wants time, wants space, wants to be creative.”

Patrick Marleau scored for Toronto Authentic
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, and Curtis McElhinney had 26 saves. The Maple
Leafs were playing for the third time in in four nights, including the second of
a back-to-back following Friday’s 5-4 victory at the New York Islanders.

”I’m disappointed,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. ”When you don’t have quite
as much juice, you’re not quite as good. … It was tight. In the end, they were
better.”

The Maple Leafs are all but assured of finishing third in the Atlantic
Division. The Jets, meanwhile, look just as certain to wind up second in the
Central.

Both teams are hoping to use these final few outings as playoff tuneups.

”It just shows you’ve got to be sharp each and every night Packers
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, and sometimes the details of the game is
the difference – most of the time it’s the difference,” Marleau said. ”Tonight
was no different.”

Toronto’s only blemish at home in more than two months coming into this game
was Monday’s 3-2 loss to last-place Buffalo that snapped a 13-game winning
streak at Air Canada Centre.

Scoreless after a first period lacking much in the way of emotion, Toronto
grabbed a 1-0 lead just 2:02 into the second when the league’s third-ranked
power play went to work. Auston Matthews looked primed to shoot on Hellebuyck
from the left faceoff circle, but passed to Marleau, who redirected his 26th of
the season home from the top of the crease.

After a pad stop on Blake Wheeler’s deflection later in the period,
McElhinney could do nothing at 8:30 when Morrissey’s blast from the point past a
screen caught him moving the wrong way for the defenseman’s sixth.

McElhinney was then run into by Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele after he stopped
Wheeler’s breakaway seconds later, but no penalty was called on the play.

Playing without rookie defenseman Travis Dermott because of a lower-body
injury suffered in the first Authentic
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, the Leafs went to the penalty kill when play
resumed after Jake Gardiner cross-checked Scheifele hard into the boards, much
to the chagrin of home crowd.

The Jets’ power play – which was fourth overall coming in – went to work, and
Byfuglien snapped his seventh off the post and in past a screened McElhinney at
9:40.

Winnipeg pulled ahead 3-1 seemingly out of nothing on a broken play with 2:26
left in the period when Copp fired his sixth shortside off a pass from Adam
Lowry.

”It’s tough when you give up a power-play goal,” Morrissey said. ”That’s some
of the growth in our team – we got right back on our horse and really went after
it.

”That’s something we’re going to have to do definitely going forward here and
into the playoffs.”

Playing the second of a back-to-back, McElhinney saw his first action in
place of Frederik Andersen since making 33 saves in a 4-0 win over Montreal on
March 17.

Toronto went back to the man advantage midway through the final period after
Winnipeg was whistled for too many men, but neither unit could connect despite
extended zone time.

The Leafs pressed further with McElhinney out for an extra attacker, but
couldn’t find a way past Hellebuyck before Ron Hainsey took a holding penalty on
Copp with 67 seconds left in regulation to kill any hope of a comeback.

Hellebuyck had to be sharp to snag Nazem Kadri’s deflection of a shot by
Marleau midway through the first before also blocking Connor Brown’s batted
effort and rebound chance from in close with under two minutes left.

Brown had another opportunity with Hellebuyck swimming in his crease moments
later Authentic
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, but couldn’t quite find the handle on a loose
puck.

NOTES: Toronto came in 8-2 over its last 10. … Leafs forward Mitch Marner saw
his 11-game point streak (five goals, 11 assists) come to an end. … Leo Komarov
replaced Andreas Johnsson on Toronto’s fourth line after missing seven games
with a lower-body injury. … Winnipeg D Jacob Trouba (concussion) returned to the
lineup following a five-game absence.

UP NEXTimage

Jets: At Ottawa on Monday night.

Maple Leafs: Host Buffalo on Monday night.

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