08:00 ET

Game 6: Leafs Defeat Jets With A 4-1 VICTORY

Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty images
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty images

The Leafs came into this one after a 3-2 overtime victory against the Dallas Stars on Thursday. However, Leafs superstar Auston Matthews was roughed up several times in that one, so something had to give. Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe responded by putting both Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford into the lineup for this one.

The Winnipeg Jets opened the scoring 4:17 into this one on a goal off of a rebound by Pierre-Luc Dubois. Cole Perfetti and Blake Wheeler draw the assists on the goal. Less than three minutes after the Jets took the 1-0 lead, they were awarded the first power play of the game as Michael Bunting was called for interference on Brendan Dillon. The Jets power play was cut short, however, as Josh Morrissey took an interference penalty of his own against Calle Jarnkrok just 1:01 into the Jets power play. The Leafs only had 59 seconds of power play time to work with after Bunting’s minor expired, but they wasted no time tying this one up. Leafs Captain John Tavares, who has had a fantastic start to the year, ripped his second goal of the year past Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. William Nylander, who made a fantastic pass to John Tavares, and Auston Matthews with the assists on the game-tying goal. The parade to the penalty box continued in this one as Kyle Clifford was called for tripping Nate Schmidt 11:01 into the opening frame. The Leafs managed to kill off the penalty meaning this one remained tied 1-1. Matthews sidestepped Josh Morrissey, but Morrissey pulled down Matthews. As a result, the Leafs were awarded a power play, their first full two-minute power play of the game. Mitch Marner was hit from behind into the boards, which resulted in a cut above his eye. There was no call on the play. Unfortunately, the Leafs could not capitalize on the man advantage, and they didn’t generate any dangerous chances either. The period ended with a last-ditch effort from the Jets as Mark Scheifele fired a slap shot on goal at the horn. Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov turned the shot away, keeping the score tied 1-1 at the end of the opening frame. Shots on goal were 9-8 in favor of the blue and white after 20 minutes. TOI leader for the Leafs after one was a two-way tie between defensive partners Morgan Rielly and T.J. Brodie, who both played 8:06. 

The Leafs came out to start the middle frame with some noticeable jump to their game as they controlled the majority of the play for the first couple of minutes. A collision between Holl and Nylander opened up a lane for Nate Schmidt, who had a great chance, but Samsonov shut the door. After a couple of dominating shifts from the blue and white to start the second period, the Jets responded with a couple of strong shifts of their own. The first half of the period was a lot of back and forth as both teams traded chances. What an outstanding rush from Auston Matthews, who got a couple of great scoring chances followed by a third chance from David Kampf; however, Connor Hellebuyck stood tall and shut the door with three big saves to keep the game tied 1-1. The Leafs continued to throw everything they had at the Jets, but Hellebuyck was doing his part by keeping his team in this one, making save after save. Ironically enough, the newly vamped fourth line finally broke the deadlock as Wayne Simmonds made a no-look pass into the slot to David Kampf, who made no mistake finishing the play. The goal was Kampf’s second of the year, assisted by Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford. The Jets wasted no time with a response of their own, but Samsonov came up with a timely save and didn’t allow a rebound on the play. 

Josh Morrissey stepped up on Nick Robertson and laid a massive hit with 3:52 remaining in the period. Longest serving Leaf Morgan Rielly wasted no time coming to the aid of the rookie forward and went right after Morrissey. Brodie and Tavares also wasted no time getting into the scrum as well. Many have commented on how soft the Leafs have been through 5 games. It’s safe to say that type of response can put those comments to bed very quickly. Shortly after, Rasmus Sandin delivered a questionable hit on Jets rookie Cole Perfetti. There was no call on the play, but Pierre-Luc Dubois instantly jumped the Leafs defender, which resulted in a Leafs power play, their third of the game. The top unit was able to execute this time as captain John Tavares tipped home an Auston Matthews shot from the point for his second of the game and third of the season, giving the Leafs a 3-1 lead. Auston Matthews and Rasmus Sandin with the assists. Shots on goal in the second period were 14-10 in favor of the blue and white. 23-19 through 40 minutes in favor of the blue and white as well. TOI leader for the Leafs through two periods was Auston Matthews with 15:04. 

The Jets came out flying, no pun intended, to start the 3rd controlling majority of the play through the first two minutes. However, Ilya Samsonov came up with a couple of critical saves to keep the score 3-1 in favor of the Leafs. A scrum occurred in front of the Leafs goal after a whistle, where Simmonds and Scheifele pushed back and forth. To no one’s surprise, Simmonds was given the only penalty on the play, sending the Jets to their third power play of the night. The Jets couldn’t capitalize with the man advantage, but they continued to press to try and get one to make it a one-goal game. Ilya Samsonov stood his ground, stopping everything the Jets threw at him. This truly felt like a statement game from Samsonov. I personally think this is the game where he said this is my net, and I am not giving it up. He looked very poised and confident from start to finish in this one tonight. The Jets pulled Hellebuyck with just under three minutes to go but to no avail as Marner chipped the puck to open ice, and Bunting corralled it to fire it into the empty net for his second goal of the year. Putting the Leafs up 4-1, and that’s how this one would end. However, the final horn would not go without Wayne Simmonds laying a very solid hit on Logan Stanley. Shots on goal in the 3rd were 12-5 in favor of the Jets and 31-28 in favor of the Jets as well. TOI leader for the Leafs was T.J. Brodie with 22:27. 

The Leafs leave Winnipeg and head to Vegas for a battle with the Golden Knights on Monday!

Tonight’s Three Stars

1. John Tavares: 2 Goals 

2. Ilya Samsonov: 30 Saves 

3. Pierre-Luc Dubois: 1 Goal 

For more Leafs news and in-game tweets, follow me on Twitter @mikethefanatic! Also, be sure to check out The Leafs Late Night Podcast wherever you listen to your podcasts!

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