Kessel ends drought with goal, Leafs beats Jets 3-2
Toronto Maple Leafs' Phil Kessel (81), Tyler Bozak (42), Cody Franson (4) and James van Riemsdyk (21) celebrate Kessel's goal against Andrew Ladd (16) and the Winnipeg Jets during third period NHL action in Winnipeg on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. (The Canadian Press/John Woods)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, February 7, 2013 11:17PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2013 11:18PM EST
WINNIPEG -- Phil Kessel scored his first goal of the season late in the third period to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Thursday night.
Tyler Bozak scored shorthanded and Matt Frattin added a goal for the Leafs (6-5-0), who won their second straight of a three-game road trip. Kessel's goal ended a frustrating drought for the top-line winger who had 37 goals last season.
Zach Redmond and Andrew Ladd scored for the Jets (4-5-1), who have lost four of their last five games.
There was no scoring the first period but the Jets came out fast and hard with four shots on goal before the Leafs had one -- no repeat of Tuesday's flat start against the Panthers.
Redmond, from the Jets' AHL farm team, scored his first NHL goal thanks to a 2-on-1 short-handed breakaway initiated by Bryan Little, who fed him a cross-ice pass the rookie fired past James Reimer's glove hand.
Dion Phaneuf was the only Leaf between the two Jets and Toronto's Manitoba-born goaltender.
But three minutes later, a mistake by Jets defenceman Paul Postma handed Bozak a 1-on-1 short-handed shootout with Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec.
Ladd tipped in a Clitsome slap shot from just inside the blue-line to put the Jets ahead at 3:46 in the third.
Cody Franson fired a shot that Frattin got credit for as the puck glanced off him past a downed Pavelec to tie the game at 14:58.
Kessel popped in Bozak's drop pass less than a minute later after the Jets took a holding penalty.
Pavelec stopped 15 shots while Reimer made 23 saves.
The Jets went 0-for-4 on the power-play.
Notes: The Jets leading scorer this season, defenceman Tobias Enstrom, went into Thursday's game riding a new career point streak and extended it to eight with another assist against the Leafs.