TORONTO — Adam Lowry scored the winner in the third period and added an assist Saturday as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 in the rubber match of their three-game series.
Mark Scheifele and Mason Appleton, also with a goal and an assist each, and Paul Stastny provided the rest of the offence for Winnipeg (17-8-2). Laurent Brossoit, who got the start for the visitors in place of Connor Hellebuyck, stopped 20 shots.
William Nylander and Jake Muzzin replied for Toronto (19-8-2), while Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for the North Division leaders.
The Leafs, who beat Winnipeg 4-3 in overtime Thursday after dropping three straight in regulation, have a quick turnaround with a game against the Senators in Ottawa on Sunday, while the Jets welcome the Montreal Canadiens for a pair beginning Monday.
Lowry snapped a 2-2 tie at 7:39 of the third after Andersen couldn’t control a dump in at the side of his net. Appleton was quickest to the loose puck and feathered a pass through the legs of Leafs defenceman Travis Dermott for Lowry to bury his fifth of the season and first in 20 games.
Winnipeg stretched that lead to 4-2 on the power play with 5:26 left in regulation when Ehlers, who had two goals and an assist Thursday, ripped his 14th past Andersen.
The Jets got a 5-on-3 man advantage after Zach Hyman went off for interference and Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was assessed a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Scheifele promptly put things out of reach with 3:28 left when he scored his 12th — and first in eight games — upstairs.
Winnipeg went up 1-0 just 1:41 into the second when Lowry’s pass in front went in off a streaking Appleton’s skate alone in front for his eighth.
The Jets got their first power play of the night when Zach Bogosian slashed Blake Wheeler on a partial breakaway, but the Leafs registered the team’s first short-handed goal of the season when Muzzin joined the rush and took a feed from Mitch Marner before burying his second upstairs at 5:03.
Mathieu Perreault then came close to getting the visitors back in front only to see his shot off a scramble go under Andersen and miss the net.
After watching Hellebuyck frustrate the Leafs much of the last two games — Toronto outshot Winnipeg a combined 77-50 and held a 142-83 edge in attempts on goal against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner — Brossoit didn’t look great on Nylander’s go-ahead effort 2:09 later when he faked pass on a 2-on-1 before firing his 12th off the backup netminder’s stick.
But the Jets made it 2-2 with 3:26 left in the period when Stastny tipped his ninth past Andersen following Scheifele’s initial shot.
The Leafs appeared to go ahead at 1:25 of the opening period when Pierre Engvall popped the top off Brossoit’s water bottle with what would have been the game’s first shot, but the Jets correctly challenged for a Toronto hand pass earlier in the sequence.
Ehlers fired high over Andersen’s net on a 2-on-1 break a couple of minutes later before the Leafs goaltender denied Andrew Copp on another odd-man rush late to close out a relatively uneventful first.
Notes: Toronto forward Joe Thornton played the 1,653rd regular-season game of his career to pass Mark Recchi and into sole possession of sixth on the NHL’s all-time list. … Muzzin’s goal was also his first in 20 games. … Winnipeg defenceman Logan Stanley picked up his first NHL point with the second assist on Stastny’s equalizer in the second. … The Leafs and Jets play six more times over the next six weeks.
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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press