William Nylander scores twice to power Maple Leafs past Jets 6-3
Toronto Maple Leafs' William Nylander (88) celebrates his goal with teammates Adam Brooks (77) and Alexander Kerfoot (15) during first period NHL action against the Winnipeg Jets, in Winnipeg on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. Brooks made his first NHL point on the goal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Judy Owen, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 2, 2020 10:46PM EST
WINNIPEG - William Nylander scored twice and had an assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs extended their point streak to nine games with a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Kasperi Kapanen had a goal and assist for Toronto and Travis Dermott, Pierre Engvall and Mitch Marner also scored for the Leafs (23-14-5), who are 8-0-1 during their hot run.
Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg (22-16-3). Patrik Laine also scored.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 12 of 17 shots for the Jets before being replaced by Laurent Brossoit, who made 10 saves on 11 shots in the third period.
The Jets have one win in their last five games (1-3-1) and have lost their past five games at Bell MTS Place (0-4-1).
Frederik Andersen stopped 45 shots for the Leafs, who scored three goals on nine shots in the second period and heard plenty of cheers from Toronto fans in the stands.
The Leafs led 2-0 after the first period, but the teams combined for six goals in the middle frame and Toronto came out of it with the 5-3 lead.
Nylander's 18th goal of the season at 3:24 of the first period gave him at least one goal in each of his past five games. His five-game point streak includes six goals and five assists.
Jets defenceman Luca Sbisa couldn't control the puck inside Winnipeg's blue line and Kapanen was right there to scoop it up and score on Hellebuyck at the nine-minute mark of the first.
Winnipeg had a power play midway through the opening period, but Andersen stopped Laine three times, including a snapping glove save.
The Jets outshot the visitors 14-8 in the period.
Winnipeg went on the power play early in the second after Leafs forward Jason Spezza was sent off for delay of game.
Connor used the man advantage to record his team-leading 21st goal of the season with a wrist shot on Andersen's stick side at 3:45. Connor has seven goals in his past five games.
Laine tied it 2-2 at 7:44 with a sharp-angled shot from near the goal line. He has four goals and three assists in his past six games.
The Leafs were being outshot 11-0 in the period when Laine notched his 15th goal of the season, but they capitalized on their first two shots of the frame.
Dermott poked in a loose puck in the crease at 9:02 and Engvall scored 35 seconds later to make it 4-2.
Scheifele notched his 19th goal of the season at 12:48 to squeeze the score, but Marner fired a one-timer on the power play and the puck bounced off Hellebuyck's arm into the net to restore Toronto's two-goal lead.
Shots on goal after the second were 37-17 in Winnipeg's favour.
Nylander scored his second goal of the game at 3:24 when he beat Brossoit from the side of the net.
Winnipeg begins a four-game road trip Saturday in Minnesota. Toronto starts a three-game homestand Saturday against the New York Islanders.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2020.