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This article was published 7/2/2012 (3800 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Silly to call it a 'must-win' what with so much hockey yet to be played. So let's refer to it as a 'really, kinda-needed-it' victory. The Jets couldn't afford to slip further from the Eastern Conference/Southeast Division picture and these two points allowed them to keep pace with Washington and gain on Florida.
The two goals constituted an eruption for the Jets, but we were more impressed with the defensive effort. The Jets limited the Leafs, fifth in the NHL in scoring, to just one goal and only 18 shots.
The Jets are holding on to a 2-1 lead with less than five minutes remaining when goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stones Matthew Lombardi on a partial break to seal the deal.
Free Press ★★★
★ Blake Wheeler, RW, Wpg. — Playing like a power forward. Drove to the Leafs’ net hard on the game-winner.
★★ Phil Kessel, RW, Tor. — Simply a dynamic player. Scored his 30th of the season, the third straight year he’s hit that mark and the first Leaf to accomplish that since Mats Sundin.
★★★ Bryan Little, C, Wpg. — Scored his 13th by picking up Wheeler’s leftovers. Showed good jump all night.
1. Toronto, Kessler 30 (Lupul) 11:06
2. Winnipeg, Thorburn (Bogosian, Slater) 14:16
Penalty -- Antropov Wpg (cross-checking) 6:43.
3. Winnipeg, Little (Wheeler, Oduya) 9:47
Penalty -- Kessel Tor (slashing) 2:00.
Penalties -- Crabb Tor, Oduya Wpg (fighting) 1:54, Burmistrov Wpg (high-sticking) 10:17, Crabb Tor (holding) 13:10.
Shots on goal by
Goal -- Toronto: Gustavsson (L,16-11-1); Winnipeg: Pavelec (W,19-18-6).
Power plays (goals-chances) -- Toronto: 0-2; Winnipeg: 0-2.
Referees -- Mike Leggo, Brad Meier. Linesmen -- Mike Cvik, Mark Wheler.
Attendance -- 15,004 (15,004)