NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, October 19th
(All times eastern)
Winnipeg Jets (1-3-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (3-0-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It only took eight seconds for Kyle Wellwood to become a
hero in Manitoba. Not bad for a 28-year-old born in Ontario.
The Winnipeg Jets will try to build off their first victory of the season
tonight when they square off against a Toronto Maple Leafs team that's looking
to put their initial setback of 2011-12 behind them.
Wellwood matched a franchise record in Monday's 2-1 win over the Penguins by
scoring just eight seconds into the game. He equaled the feat first done by
Atlanta Thrasher Ron Petrovicky on Dec. 20, 2003 that also came against
Tanner Glass also scored and Alexander Burmistrov assisted on both goals to
help the Jets snap their three-game, season-opening losing streak and allow
the city of Winnipeg to celebrate its first NHL victory since 1996.
"They have been waiting a long time for that one so it was nice to deliver
one," Jets forward Andrew Ladd said about getting the win for the fans. "They
have been great since day one, so it was nice to give them a little something
to cheer about."
Though Winnipeg's power-play troubles continued -- the club went 0-for-5
versus Pittsburgh and is 0-for-17 on the man advantage this season --
goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stood tall with 28 saves to make sure the Penguins
could not rally.
The 24-year-old had yielded nine goals in losing his first two starts.
"Pavelec was superb. I thought he was outstanding," said Jets head coach
Claude Noel. "Pretty hard to fault his game. He made some key saves in that
Evander Kane did not play in the win due to a lower-body injury suffered while
blocking a shot in the previous game, but he did practice on Tuesday in the
hopes of returning tonight. Ron Hainsey, though, was unable to practice after
suffering an upper-body injury in Monday's victory.
The Maple Leafs will conclude a five-game, season-opening homestand and won
the first three contests of the residency prior to Monday's 3-2 overtime loss
against the Avalanche.
James Reimer made 21 saves, but couldn't get in front of David Jones' rebound
slam 1:11 into the extra frame.
"It was a frustrating loss because I thought we deserved a better fate," said
Reimer. "I thought we played hard and battled, but they got one more bounce
then we did."
With Toronto set to visit Boston on Thursday, head coach Ron Wilson is
expected to give backup netminder Jonas Gustavsson his first start of the year
either tonight or tomorrow.
Wilson will also hope that Phil Kessel can continue his surge. The forward has
six goals and three assists through Toronto's first four games, giving him a
point in 14 consecutive contests dating back to last season. He scored in
Monday's loss along with Nikolai Kulemin.
The Maple Leafs, who failed to start the season 4-0 for a second straight
year, have split their four-game series with the Jets franchise in each of the
past three seasons. That also includes an even split of six games in Toronto.
10/19 10:38:27 ET