Alexander Burmistrov took a late penalty in a tie game, but gets bailed out by the penalty kill. Getting a partial break immediately out of the box, Burmistrov created a two-on-one with Blake Wheeler and jammed home the game-winning goal.
Brian Little scored the empty netter as three former Barrie Colt players recorded goals in a 4-2 win. With a total of 86 hits between the two teams, this was a physical affair.
The Winnipeg Jets come as advertised. They are big, strong and play the body. Winnipeg has offensive weapons in the forward position but also from the blue line. That would prove true on the first goal as Dustin Byfuglien got a pass from behind the net coming down the wing and buried the first goal of the game behind James Reimer.
Five minutes later, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Jets traded goals within 40 seconds of each other. A power-play goal by P.A. Parenteau and the answering goal by Mark Scheifele, who got in hard on the fore check, started the play and hung around the net for a wide open shot off of a bounce in front to go ahead 2-1. The period ended with pressure from the Jets but it would go into the intermission with the Jets ahead by one.
The Toronto Maple Leafs played well to start the period and put pressure on early. Throughout the second period, momentum seemed to swing back and forth between the two teams, neither getting a clear edge for an extended period of time. The second remained scoreless until 12:07 when Leo Komarov scored his fifth of the year on a rush play, crashing the net and redirecting the puck past Ondrej Pavelec.
The Maple Leafs came up perfect on a late penalty kill for too many men on the ice to keep the game tied going into the third. Winnipeg didn't even get a shot attempt on that power-play, their first of the game.
The third period was tight, tied 2-2, and no one wanted to surrender the third goal. Winnipeg had the edge in pressure for most of the period. Neither team surrendered a power play goal on three attempts between them. It was Burmistrov who got the game-winning goal late in the third jumping out of the penalty box and scooping up the loose puck. He skated in the zone on a partial break, freezing Jake Gardiner, exchanging passes with a trailing Blake Wheeler who sent a cross crease pass on the tape of Burmistrov for the easy tap in. Brian Little would score the aforementioned empty net goal to cap off the win with less than 30 seconds remaining.
The hit totals were high with Toronto registering a season-high 42, just shy of Winnipeg's 44. Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf didn't register a single hit and didn't look sharp once again. Leo Komarov led the Leafs with 10 hits. Winnipeg outshot the Leafs 34-26 including a 14-5 spread in the third.
Toronto fails to win back-to-back games again this season, winning only two total. Falling to 2-7-2 while Winnipeg moves to 7-4-1 and into a wild card spot in the Western Conference. The Jets play the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa tomorrow, and the Leafs get the night off and play host to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.