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 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.
Foligno, who had to quarantine after being acquired from Columbus in a three-way deal this month, helped build the play that led to Toronto’s fourth goal. Matthews eventually sent a rolling puck to Marner, who fluttered a one-timer over Brossoit’s shoulder at 12:58.
Foligno earned his first assist with his new club by feeding Marner for the empty-netter at 19:54.
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