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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, March 12th (All times Eastern)

Toronto Maple Leafs (15-10-1) at Winnipeg Jets (12-11-2), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to avoid a season-high third straight loss on Tuesday night as they visit the Winnipeg Jets.

The Maple Leafs have followed up a three-game winning streak with consecutive losses to Boston and Pittsburgh, though they did earn a point last time out with Saturday's 5-4 shootout loss to the Penguins.

Phil Kessel had two assists and scored the game-tying goal with 4:20 to play in regulation, but Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri both failed on their shootout attempts. James Reimer, meanwhile, was beaten by both James Neal and Sidney Crosby.

Clarke MacArthur, James van Riemsdyk and Cody Franson also scored, while Dion Phaneuf added three assists. Reimer lost for the first time in seven starts despite 37 saves.

"This was an intense battle because they're a great team," said Kessel. "We were able to battle back and get a point and that's something positive to take from this."

Toronto has 31 points and is tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with Ottawa, while Winnipeg is just on the outside of the playoff picture in ninth place with 26 points. That also has the Jets three points back of the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Southeast Division.

The Jets had a two-game winning streak end with Sunday's 3-2 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils, though Winnipeg did earn a point for the eighth time in its past 11 outings. The Jets are 7-3-1 in that span.

Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves, but gave up the only goal of the shootout. He was also beaten twice in the first 10:12 of the game as the Jets fell into an early hole their were able to rally out of.

"We didn't come out a little flat, we came out a lot flat," Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said.

Mark Stuart, though, scored with 3:43 left in the first period and then assisted on Evander Kane's game-tying tally with 2:41 to play in the second.

It was the Maple Leafs that rallied late to pick up a 3-2 victory in Winnipeg on Feb. 7 in the first of three meetings this season. Matt Frattin and Kessel scored late third-period goals, while Reimer made 23 saves.

The victory snapped a three-game series road losing streak versus the Jets franchise.

Pavelec allowed all three goals on just 18 shots in the loss.

03/12 10:55:26 ET

Local & North Carolina state news from Raleigh, NC | NewsObserver.com
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