WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Jason Spezza scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.
The veteran forward corralled a rolling puck before deking Connor Hellebuyck and tucking it in the small gap between the goaltender’s outstretched pad and the post.
“I just tried to make a good move and outwait him,” Spezza said. “Lucky it went in.”
Kyle Connor, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mark Scheifele were unable to beat Toronto goaltender Jack Campbell in the tiebreaker as he improved to 8-0-0 on the season.
“It’s a big goal for us and Soupy with the big three saves,” said Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner. “So both sides, it’s a great result and something that we’re very happy with.”
Travis Dermott scored in regulation for the North Division-leading Maple Leafs. Campbell finished with 31 saves.
Toronto had several great chances to put the game away on an overtime power play, but couldn’t beat Hellebuyck, who played in his 300th career regular-season game.
Andrew Copp had the lone goal for the Jets. Hellebuyck had 37 saves.
“While there wasn’t the free-flowing offense that we’ve seen in the past between Toronto and Winnipeg, there was quality offence in bursts out there where the goalies were the difference,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice.
Zach Hyman showed some early zip for Toronto in a quiet first period. He sped around the net on his first shift and beat Hellebuyck only to watch the puck roll out just wide of the post.
Campbell was steady at the other end in an opening period that had just a few decent scoring chances.
Dermott snapped a puck from the point that seemed to catch Hellebuyck off guard at 5:16 of the second period. The rather innocuous one-timer knuckled its way inside the post for his second goal of the season.
The Jets answered moments later after Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly pressed a bit too far at the Winnipeg blue line.
Adam Lowry took advantage by racing ahead on a 2-on-1 break, feeding Copp for his 12th of the year at 11:50.
Toronto’s Alex Kerfoot hit the post late in the second period and teammate Alex Galchenyuk found the iron early in the third.
The Jets pressed midway in the final period, forcing Campbell to make a pair of diving saves. The Toronto goalie appeared to favor his leg after making a great stop on Connor, but shook it off and stayed in the game.
“He was just outstanding,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said of Campbell. “You can just see his confidence growing and you can see the team’s confidence in him growing as well. He was just terrific.”
The Maple Leafs’ power-play woes continued as they went 0 for 3 on the night. Toronto has just one goal in its last 28 opportunities with the man advantage.
Winnipeg was 0 for 2 on the power play.
Earlier in the day, the Jets said that defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum.
The NHL announced Friday that a Jets home game against Ottawa scheduled for May 7 will be played Monday night. The change is a result of recently postponed games affecting the Jets and Vancouver Canucks.
Maple Leafs: At Calgary on Sunday night.
Jets: Host Ottawa on Monday night.
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