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Maple Leafs, Jets aim for two points in Winnipeg

Given their current place in the standings, both the Maple Leafs and Jets know just how important picking up extra points is.

Following different results in post-regulation contests last time out, Toronto and Winnipeg clash tonight looking to make a move up the conference ladder.

The Maple Leafs and Jets are two of four teams tied for the sixth spot in the East, but have been headed in different directions. Winnipeg notched its second straight win and third in four games with an overtime victory on Thursday, while the Maple Leafs lost for the seventh time in 10 outings the same night.

Toronto also went beyond regulation on Thursday, blowing a two-goal lead in the third period before falling 4-3 at Carolina in overtime. Phil Kessel, among the league leaders in goals scored with 20, was held without a shot for the first time in 47 games as the Leafs went 0-for-7 on the power play.

"Obviously we wanted to win that one. We set ourselves up to win, but we made a couple of mistakes that cost us and we unfortunately lost the game," said Toronto goaltender James Reimer."

Reimer made 30 saves, while Joffrey Lupul, Nikolai Kulemin and Nazem Kadri scored the goals. Kadri has three tallies in four games since being recalled from the minors.

Toronto is 1-1-1 on a four-game road trip and has dropped five of its past seven on the road. The club now sits eight points back of Boston for first place in the Northeast Division.

Winnipeg, meanwhile, is second in the Southeast Division and four points back of first-place Florida thanks to Thursday's 1-0 victory over the Kings in overtime. Evander Kane finally broke the deadlock on his team-leading 18th goal of the season 69 seconds into the extra frame.

"It was a big two points for out team," said Kane. "It was definitely something that we needed to happen, especially the way the Eastern standings are."

The Jets notched their second shutout in four games, getting 31 saves from Chris Mason in his first blanking of the season and 22nd of his career. Ondrej Pavelec stopped all 27 shots he faced to beat Montreal on Dec. 22.

"We played on our heels a little bit, but I think we wanted to get at least a point out of the game," said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel. "Mason I thought was outstanding. He was very focused and battled hard."

Winnipeg played without defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and center Jim Slater. Byfuglien is also expected to sit out tonight due to a knee issue, while Slater is questionable to return from his one-game absence caused by a rib injury.

Toronto has won three of its past four versus Winnipeg, including a 4-3 shootout win at home on Oct. 19 in the first of four meetings this year. Lupul scored twice and tallied the game-winner in the shootout, while Kessel had a goal and two assists.

The Maple Leafs will make their first trip to Winnipeg after going 5-1-2 in its previous eight trips to Atlanta, where the Jets were based before moving this offseason.