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Maple Leafs rally to defeat Jets in overtime

by Mike Brophy /

TORONTO -- James van Riemsdyk scored with 1:13 remaining in overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

Van Riemsdyk, who had not scored in 10 games, broke in 2-on-1 with center Olli Jokinen, took a pass from his new teammate, and his one-timer beat Winnipeg goaltender Michael Hutchinson.

"There's no secret I've been in a bit of a goal-scoring slump and hopefully this can kick start me down the stretch here," van Riemsdyk said.

The goal, his 22nd of the season, was his first since Jan. 28. The victory for Toronto (24-31-5) ended a five-game losing streak.

"It's fun to play in games like that," van Riemsdyk said. "It was a physical, hard-fought, physical game. It seemed like we hadn't gotten a bounce to go our way in a while, so it was nice to get one where it hit [Jets forward Michael] Frolik's stick and went right to Olli. He made a great pass and I just tried to shoot it as hard as I could."

Jokinen was acquired in a trade from the Nashville Predators on Sunday, which could be the first of others by Toronto heading into the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2.

"I don't think there's anyone questioning the talent we have in our room," van Riemsdyk said. "We know what we have in here; it's just a matter of playing the right way. When we play like that we show we can be a very good team."

Toronto forward Nazem Kadri tied it 3-3 at 3:57 of the third period by scoring on a wraparound.

Goalie Jonathan Bernier won for the first time since Jan. 9 (0-8-2). The Maple Leafs are 5-22-2 in their past 29 games.

"I still think we have a pretty good roster … good players," Kadri said. "We have been working hard the past few weeks, but it seems like we work hard for 55 minutes and a couple of plays here or there end up in the back of our net and we end up chasing the game from behind. We're in games, but we just sort of shoot ourselves in the foot with costly penalties or turnovers."

Toronto led 1-0 12:57 into the first period when Leo Komarov scored a shorthanded goal with Korbinian Holzer in the penalty box for goaltender interference. Komarov carried the puck from the Toronto line into the Winnipeg zone and beat Hutchinson with a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle.

The Jets tied it 1-1 34 seconds later when Jacob Trouba scored on the power play with Holzer in the penalty box. Trouba's shot from a bad angle tipped off the stick of Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly.

Mark Scheifele gave the Jets a 2-1 lead at 19:10 with Winnipeg's second straight power-play goal. The puck squirted to him in the shallow slot and he beat Bernier with a quick high snap shot.

Daniel Winnik made it 2-2 at 15:07 of the second period when he tipped a Holzer shot from the point past Hutchinson.

Frolik gave Winnipeg a 3-2 lead at 19:05 when he scooped the puck deep in the Toronto zone, circled with it in the slot, and snapped a high shot to the top right corner.

Winnipeg (30-20-11) lost its second in a row. It holds the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

"That was definitely a tough loss," Frolik said. "I think we weren't our best today, but we were pretty decent. We were better than in Washington (a 5-1 loss Thursday). That was the goal. Obviously the point hurts. We just learn from it and go for the next one."

Scheifele said, "We've got to get past this game. Obviously we came out strong and we had our good parts of the game, but we let up a lot. They were able to get their cycle game going, which we didn't want. We've got to move on from it and be better."

The Jets begin a four-game homestand Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. The Maple Leafs host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

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