Penguins head west to battle Jets

The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to get back on track after their first loss of the season, as they head west to battle the Winnipeg Jets in Friday's clash at MTS Centre.

The Penguins won their first two games of the shortened season on the road and scored a total of nine goals in the victories over rivals Philadelphia and the New York Rangers.

However, Pittsburgh's home opener was a different story, as the Toronto Maple Leafs barged into CONSOL Energy Center on Wednesday and skated away with a 5-2 victory. James van Riemsdyk netted two goals with one assist to lead Toronto to the decisive road win.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored once each for the Penguins, while Marc- Andre Fleury was charged with all five goals on 24 shots.

"Two goals were (the result of) poor management with the puck. The third goal we put it on their tape," said Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "(It's) not where we need to be to have success."

The Penguins are playing three of four games on the road to close out the month of January. Next up for Pittsburgh is Sunday's game in Ottawa.

While the Penguins are attempting to rebound from their first loss of the season, Winnipeg will aim to build off its first win.

After losing to Ottawa and Boston to begin the season, the Jets were able to gain two points with Tuesday's victory in Washington. Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler each tallied a goal and an assist, and Tobias Enstrom added a trio of helpers to lift the Jets to the 4-2 decision at Verizon Center.

Andrew Ladd and Jim Slater each scored once, while Ondrej Pavelec registered 32 saves to help the Jets earn their first victory.

"I thought it was a really solid effort from start to finish," Ladd remarked. "We had four lines going and we were smart with the pucks, and that led to a lot of good things."

Winnipeg lost its only home game this season, dropping a 4-1 decision to Ottawa last Saturday. The Jets were 23-13-5 at home in 2011-12, the club's first season since relocating from Atlanta.

The Penguins have dominated the Jets/Thrashers franchise in recent years, winning three straight and 15 of the last 17 encounters between the clubs. Pittsburgh is 1-1-0 on the road in this series since the Jets moved from Atlanta.