Bryan Little scored the eventual game- 1, on Tuesday.
Phil Kessel tallied in his third consecutive game for Toronto, which has gone 16 straight games without allowing a power-play goal, the longest such streak in the league since the Chicago Blackhawks went 19 consecutive games without surrendering a power-play tally in 1969-70.
Jonas Gustavsson stopped 27-of-29 shots for the Leafs, who had their three- game winning streak snapped.
"They did a good job in their zone, but we didn't direct enough pucks towards the net. We were trying to make an extra play, extra pass, things like that," Toronto head coach Ron Wilson said.
The Leafs struck first with 8:54 to go in the opening period. After a scrum for the disc along the left boards in the Winnipeg zone, Joffrey Lupul finally maintained possession of the puck. He made a perfect bank pass off the left boards to Kessel, who skated into the high slot and beat Pavelec with a wrister.
But Thorburn tied the game just 3:10 later. He skated down the left wing and his backhander from the left circle got past Gustavsson.
The go-ahead goal came at the 9:47 mark of the second. Blake Wheeler skated down the left wing and maneuvered into the slot before putting a shot on net. With Gustavsson sprawled out on the ice, Little pounced on the loose puck for the easy tally.
"(Great) play by Wheeler, he was driving the net wide and you know, once he uses his speed and size and takes it to the net like that it's hard to stop him," Little said of the game-winner. "For me all I had to do was go to the net and tap it into the empty net so you know, it was pretty easy for me."
Pavelec stopped all five shots he saw in the third to preserve the win for the Jets.
Toronto is a perfect 24-for-24 over its current run defending the man advantage, which is its longest for the franchise since 1940-41...Kessel's goal was his 30th of the season.