Leafs playoff hopes running on fumes after Jets win

TORONTO – Nothing better than getting a big road win on Hockey Night In Canada let alone beating a Toronto Maple Leafs team that had a must-win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive but were beaten by the Winnipeg Jets 4-2.

Blake Wheeler

Blake Wheeler collected two assist for 1st star of the game – image courtesy of NHL

“I thought it was a great effort start to finish,” Jets captain Andrew Ladd said. “Offensively we were able to sustain pressure throughout the whole game. That’s just through hard work, being in the right place and allowing our guys to have good gap. We can be proud of the effort we put forth tonight.”

The Jets came in and dominated play as they used their size and speed and were relentless on the forecheck as they kept the Leafs hemmed in there end all game.

“You know what? It’s a lousy job. You don’t ever want to play spoiler,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “We’ve talked a lot about being where you are and that’s where we were tonight and we gave our best effort.”

Ondrej Pavelec stopped 23 out of 25 shots and made a couple key stops to get the win for Winnipeg.

“We just stayed on the puck,” Maurice said. “We got back on so many pucks in the offensive zone, we were able to keep the puck. The big shift on the penalty kill and the power-play goal was kind of the payoff for some of the stuff we’ve been doing just like that, but couldn’t find a way to get it to the net or the goalie made a save.”

James Reimer made 37 saves off 41 Jets shots, he looked shaky and nervous before settling down to keep his team in the game; unfortunately he takes the loss.

“It’s frustrating, but talking about the fans, obviously we’ve all been fans before,” Reimer said. “You know you expect so much from your team and you want to win so badly that when things don’t go your way and maybe if you feel that they didn’t give it their all, which wasn’t the case here, we did we just didn’t have enough. When you feel that way, I think you feel gypped. And so they’re the ones paying the tickets, they have the right to do whatever they want.”

The Leafs have three games left in the regular season.

“See what happened to Columbus [Friday] night was a little break for us,” Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak said, referring to the Blue Jackets’ 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. “Tonight was a big game. But we still got three more and we have got to bear down and focus on these now.”

Winnipeg got goals from Bryan Little his 23rd of the season, Jacob Trouba got his 10th , Toby Enstrom got his 10th , Olli Jokinen notched his 18th of the year.

Leafs got goals from Phil Kessel his 37th , Nazem Kadri got his 20th of the season.

The Jets have now won their last four meetings over the Leafs dating back to last season.

The Jets lost Dustin Byfuglien after the second period with an upper body injury and he is listed as dayto-day now.

The Leafs lost Joffrey Lupul in the second period but no word was given to what was wrong.http://

The Jets are now playing spoilers and are hoping to impress management for next season with some strong play. Evander Kane was left out of the line up as he was made a healthy scratch for tonight’s game being replaced by Devin Setoguchi who has been a healthy scratch a lot lately as well.

The Jets will host the Wild on Monday night at home.

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