Preview: Jets at Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs were surging up the Atlantic Division standings on the heels of a 10-game point streak but they were finally cooled off by the Edmonton Oilers on Monday. The Maple Leafs bid to rebound from their first regulation defeat in 3 1/2 weeks when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night in a rematch from last week.
Toronto amassed 49 goals during its 10-game run, including a 6-3 victory at Winnipeg last Wednesday, but could not keep pace with captain Connor McDavid and the Oilers in Monday's 6-4 setback. "We get into trouble if we don't support each other (defensively)," goaltender Frederik Andersen said." We need to stick together more. Even though it's been a good stretch for us, we can't expect it to go our way every night." Winnipeg had dropped five of six before squeezing out a 3-2 victory over Montreal on Monday in the second stop of a four-game road trip. "Things are going to get interesting very soon here and we've got to start stringing together some wins," goaltender Connor Hellebuyck said after the Jets won for the third time in 10 games (3-5-2). "The playoff push is on."
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET. TV: TVAS, Sportsnet
ABOUT THE JETS (23-16-4): Winnipeg has surrendered two regulation goals in each of the last two games after yielding at least four tallies in seven of the previous eight contests. Although the Jets lost on a power-play goal in overtime at Minnesota on Saturday, they have killed off six of the last seven penalties after allowing 12 tallies on their previous 25 short-handed situations. "If we clean that up, it's a goal pretty much per game. That's a big number," forward Adam Lowry said. "I don't think it's requires drastic change."
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (24-15-5): Pierre Engvall answered an 11-game goalless drought by scoring five times in the last nine and is riding a three-game streak that started in Winnipeg after collecting one tally and an assist in Monday's loss. Teammate Auston Matthews is in the midst of a more torrid stretch, scoring for the second straight game to give him 10 goals in his last 10 contests and a team-high 29 on the seasons. Matthews had an assist in last week's meeting and has one goal and nine points in seven games versus the Jets.
1. Hellebuyck was yanked from the last matchup and takes a 2-3-1 mark and 3.52 goals-against average versus Toronto into Wednesday's game.
2. The Maple Leafs are 10-for-27 on the power play over the last nine games.
3. Jets D Dmitry Kulikov, out since Nov. 29, practiced Tuesday and could rejoin the lineup in Toronto.
PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 4, Jets 3