KADRI'S SECOND GOAL IN AS MANY GAMES HALVES JETS' LEAD IN THIRD PERIOD
The Leafs played a tight defensive game for the grand majority of the first two periods, but the Jets - who'd fallen to Toronto 4-2 on Wednesday night in Winnipeg - took advantage of a power play in the first period and a breakaway from centre Mark Scheifele in the second frame to take a two-goal lead into the third period.
Toronto also lost centre Auston Matthews to a shoulder injury early in the second period and had trouble generating high-quality scoring chances prior to the third, but that changed when centre Nazem Kadri scored his second goal of the season - and his second in as many games - at 6:33 of the final regulation period:
Video: WPG@TOR: Kadri beats Hellebuyck with quick release
Kadri's goal electrified the crowd at Scotiabank Arena, and gave the Buds a shot at tying the contest in the final two-thirds of the period.
GARDINER, KAPANEN SCORE IN 26-SECOND SPAN OF THIRD TO GIVE LEAFS LEAD
Toronto looked as if they didn't have enough energy to even the score, but all that changed in a hurry - as a matter of fact, in a 26-second span of the third.
At the 16:49 mark, blueliner Jake Gardiner - who was celebrating his 500th career regular-season NHL game - beat Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck for his first goal of the season to tie the game at two goals apiece:
Video: WPG@TOR: Gardiner picks the corner on Hellebuyck
And at 17:15, with the momentum clearly shifting Toronto's way, winger Kasperi Kapanen blasted a puck home from close range to put the Leafs ahead for the first time all game:
Video: WPG@TOR: Kapanen scores clutch goal late in the 3rd
Marner's second assist of the night - which came on Gardiner's goal - gave him 100 career NHL regular-season assists. And Kapanen's game-winner gave him four goals and five points in his past five games, and gave him a new career-high in points (with 10).
Most importantly, the two scoring sequences were a huge boost for the Leafs, who now have won two games in a row and host the Calgary Flames Monday night. Leafs Nation didn't get to cheer a goal until later in this contest, but the resilience the Buds showed made the tense moments worthwhile.