Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Jack Campbell (36) is scored on as Winnipeg Jets’ Mathieu Perreault (85) screens and Maple Leafs’ Jake Muzzin (8) defends during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday. (The Canadian Press)

Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Jack Campbell (36) is scored on as Winnipeg Jets’ Mathieu Perreault (85) screens and Maple Leafs’ Jake Muzzin (8) defends during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday. (The Canadian Press)

Ehlers scores two as Jets chase Campbell early, down Maple Leafs

Ehlers scores two as Jets chase Campbell early, down Maple Leafs

Winnipeg 5 Toronto 2

TORONTO — Nikolaj Ehlers scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 on Thursday.

Kyle Connor added two goals, including one into an empty net, to go along with an assist, while Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists for Winnipeg (27-14-3). Neal Pionk chipped in with two assists as the Jets moved within three points of the Leafs for top spot in the North Division.

John Tavares, with a goal and an assist, and Alex Galchenyuk replied for Toronto (28-12-4). Jack Campbell, who started the season 11-0-0 prior to Monday’s 4-2 loss in Montreal to the Canadiens, allowed three goals on six shots in the first period before getting pulled in favour of David Rittich. Acquired on Sunday from the Calgary Flames and an overtime loser in his Leafs debut Tuesday against his former team, Rittich finished with 16 saves.

The teams are scheduled to meet again next Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in Winnipeg to wrap up the season series, with Toronto still leading 4-3-0, although two of Winnipeg’s losses came after regulation.

The Jets, who were playing the second of a back-to-back after securing a series split in the nation’s capital Wednesday against the Senators, finished their five-game road trip through Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto 4-1-0.

Toronto was minus Auston Matthews — the NHL leader in goals with 32 in 40 games — because of injury, while Jets captain Blake Wheeler (concussion) sat out a fifth consecutive games.

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said Matthews, who briefly stepped on the ice for Thursday’s morning skate before leaving, is day-to-day and not expected to be out long-term. When asked if the injury was the same wrist issue that caused Matthews to miss three games this earlier this season, Keefe answered: “It’s similar, but not the same.”

With Matthews sidelined, Tavares skated between Galchenyuk and Mitch Marner on Toronto’s first line.

That unit clicked 3:41 into the first when Galchenyuk took a pass from Marner and beat Hellebuyck upstairs for his third goal of the season and second with the Leafs on a play that needed another look to make sure it entered Winnipeg’s net.

Toronto’s power play — a head-scratching 1 for 39 coming into Thursday dating back to March 9 — got a two-man advantage for 71 seconds, but was unable to break through.

And it was all Jets from there the rest of the period.

The visitors connected nine seconds into their first power play when Ehlers scored his 19th on a shot through Campbell at 10:45 to make it 1-1.

Connor then took a nice feed from Scheifele and retook the team lead in goals with his 20th on shot off the rush just 27 seconds later.

Winnipeg kept coming and went up by two at 13:54 — its third goal in 3:09 — when both Toronto defencemen pinched, allowing Scheifele to race in alone on Campbell to score his 17th and end the goaltender’s night.


Just Posted

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Most Read