Jets 2, Maple Leafs 1

After watching his team’s offense struggle on a six-game road

trip, Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel hoped his team would score

more than once at home against Toronto.

He got his wish, barely, but two goals were enough to cool off

the Maple Leafs.

Chris Thorburn scored and Bryan Little added the go-ahead goal

as the Jets edged the Maple Leafs 2-1 Tuesday.

”We don’t particularly care who it comes from as long as we get

a little more than one,” Noel said after Thorburn scored his

second goal of the season to get the Jets rolling.

Winnipeg has 56 points, winning at a loud MTS Centre after a 2-4

road trip in which it scored just six goals over six games.

Home-ice advantage has been one of the few consistent weapons the

Jets have found this season.

The Jets made the most of their brief homestand, and now hit the

road for two more away games starting Thursday in Washington. The

Jets hope this result will lead to better success on the road.

”We haven’t been pretty good on the road but hopefully this win

will kind of set things in motion,” Little said. ”We have another

big road trip coming up and we need these points. Every game is

going to be important for us.”

Winnipeg forward Evander Kane made his first appearance in the

Jets’ lineup since Jan. 19 after missing games with concussion-like

symptoms but his ice time was limited.

”Hopefully next game I’m a little more involved,” said Kane,

who showed no reluctance to go into the corners.

”Taking those hits early on just gave me a little more


Toronto failed to gain any ground in the Eastern Conference

playoff race. The Maple Leafs are in seventh place in the

conference, one point ahead of Ottawa.

Toronto had won three games in a row and lost only one in its

previous six coming into Winnipeg.

Phil Kessel scored Toronto’s goal, skating smoothly around

Winnipeg defenseman Tobias Enstrom to slip his 30th of the season

past Ondrej Pavelec at 11:06 of the first period.

Winnipeg answered as Thorburn scored at 14:16. Thorburn flipped

a solid backhand past Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

The Jets went ahead for good at 9:47 of the second period.

Gustavsson made a great save to keep Blake Wheeler from scoring,

but Little slammed in the rebound to give Wheeler a team-leading 26


Pavelec made 17 saves for the Jets, while Gustavsson stopped 27

shots for the Leafs.

”All season long we’re staying positive,” Pavelec said.

”We know we can play. We know we can beat those teams.”

Manitoba native James Reimer, who has been playing well for the

Leafs, didn’t second-guess coach Ron Wilson’s decision to give him

a rest, but admitted it was a little frustrating to sit.

”It was disappointing. I felt like we had the chances and we

controlled most of the play,” he said.

”We just couldn’t find any good scoring chances in tight. Kudos

to them for blocking up the net.”

Winnipeg and Toronto both failed to score on two power-play


Notes: The Leafs lost their first game in Winnipeg 3-2 on Dec.

31. In that game, Antti Miettinen had two of the three assists he

has managed since donning a Jets uniform. … Winnipeg defenseman

Zach Bogosian left the game clutching his wrist early in the

second, but returned later in the period.