Lupul lifts Leafs to 4-3 comeback win

Joffrey Lupul scored twice and added another in the shootout to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 comeback victory against the Winnipeg Jets at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday.

Phil Kessel also scored and assisted on both of Lupul’s goals and now leads the NHL with 12 points. James Reimer made 25 saves in his fifth-straight start for the Leafs (4-0-1).

Matt Frattin also put the puck past Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec in the shootout to ice the game.

Tobias Enstrom, Alexander Burmistrov and Mark Scheifele scored for the Jets (1-2-1), who failed to maintain the momentum from their 2-1 victory on Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, their first win since the franchise moved to Winnipeg.

Pavelec stopped 20 shots.

The Leafs played down a man for most of the game after forward Colby Armstrong got tied up with Winnipeg defenceman Derek Meech early in the first and went hard into the boards. He left the game with a lower-body injury.

Enstrom opened the scoring in the first period, firing the puck through a traffic jam in front of Reimer for Winnipeg’s first power-play marker of the season at 9:49.

Winnipeg’s lead was short-lived as just over two minutes later, Kessel skated down the middle and slid the puck over to Lupul, who blasted the puck right at the net camera, shattering the lens at 11:39.

The Jets regained the lead in the second when Nikolai Antropov hung on to the puck, circled around Luke Schenn, and sent a pass out front to Burmistrov, who fired it top shelf 2:27 into the period.

Scheifele extended the lead to 3-1 with his first NHL goal, tapping the puck on the doorstep at 7:53 on the power play after Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek took his second straight penalty. Dustin Byfuglien made the cross-ice pass over to Scheifele for his second assist of the night.

Toronto failed to score on its first two power-play attempts but finally converted with Winnipeg defenceman Zach Bogosian in the box for interference in the third. Lupul’s shot bounced off Enstrom’s stick and redirected through Pavelec at 7:28.

Kessel tied the game moments later on another power play with his seventh of the season, firing in a one-timer from Dion Phaneuf at 7:55.

With only two minutes remaining, David Steckel stood on the doorstep with the puck and Pavelec was scrambling but Steckel couldn’t find the back of the net for the go-ahead goal.

Fortunately for the Leafs, though, they were able to win in the shootout.

Notes: The Leafs sent down forward Nazmi Kadri to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League on Wednesday afternoon … Toronto concluded a five-game home stand to open the season … Jake Gardiner returned to the Leafs’ lineup. Cody Franson was scratched … Attendance at the Air Canada Centre was 19,514.

About this article

By: Jonathan Brazeau
Posted: Oct 19 2011 10:55 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports