— Sports

Marner, Matthews lead Maple Leafs past Jets, 5-3

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) – Mitch Marner had two goals and an assist, Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 34th goal and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 on Thursday night.

Wayne Simmonds and Jason Spezza also scored and Jack Campbell made 34 saves to help the North Division-leading Maple Leafs move six points ahead of Winnipeg.

Mark Scheifele, Andrew Copp and Kyle Connor scored for the Jets.

The teams will complete the two-game series Saturday night in Winnipeg.

Marner found Matthews with a long cross-ice pass and his wrist shot from the face-off circle beat Connor Hellebuyck just 27 seconds into the game.

Simmonds wired a backhander in 51 seconds later, but Scheifele halved the deficit at 3:19 when he snapped in a loose puck past Campbell.

The Jets later took advantage of a poor play by T.J. Brodie, who was wide with a pass back to Morgan Rielly in the defensive zone. Mason Appleton used the turnover to slide the puck in front to Copp, who tapped it in at 10:26.

Toronto used a delayed penalty to work the puck around for about 30 seconds before Joe Thornton’s shot deflected off Spezza and past a screened Hellebuyck at 11:59. The Winnipeg netminder was pulled and replaced by Laurent Brossoit.

Nick Foligno made his Maple Leafs debut on the top line with Marner and Matthews.

Matthews eventually sent a rolling puck to Marner, who fluttered a one-timer over Brossoit’s shoulder at 12:58.

Jets captain Blake Wheeler made his return after missing six games due to a concussion. He won a battle down low late in the second period and fed it in front to Connor, who beat Campbell at 17:56.

Foligno earned his first assist with his new club by feeding Marner for the empty-netter at 19:54.

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