(SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets hope to rebound from a lopsided loss when they visit the free-falling Toronto Maple Leafs for Saturday's battle at Air Canada Centre.
The Jets had won four of five heading into Thursday's road test against Washington, but the Capitals slammed the visitors by a 5-1 count. It marked Winnipeg's largest margin of defeat this season.
Despite the rout in D.C., Winnipeg enters today holding onto the first of two wild card spots in the Western Conference and is two points ahead of San Jose. The franchise hasn't made the playoffs since 2007, when the club was still known as the Atlanta Thrashers.
Toby Enstrom scored the lone goal for the Jets on Thursday, while Ondrej Pavelec stopped 28-of-32 shots in a losing effort.
The Capitals dominated the special teams' battle en route to the win, going 3- for-6 on the power play and killing off all three of Winnipeg's opportunities with the man advantage.
"Every time we got something going, we ended up in the box. It takes your momentum away," Jets captain Andrew Ladd said.
The Jets lost for the sixth time in their last seven road games, falling to 15-10-6 as the guest this season.
Winnipeg is hoping tonight's matchup with the Maple Leafs can help them get back on track. Not only is Toronto entering Saturday mired in a five-losing streak overall, the Leafs also have lost five straight in this series. The Jets have taken the past two encounters at Air Canada Centre.
Toronto lost a 2-1 regulation decision at Carolina on Friday, dropping the club to 0-4-1 over its last five outings. The Maple Leafs have managed only one victory in their past 17 games and they are just 2-15-2 since head coach Randy Carlyle was fired and replaced by Peter Horachek on an interim basis.
Eric Staal tallied a goal and an assist to help the Hurricanes edge the lowly Leafs on Friday.
Brandon Kozun notched his first NHL goal to supply the offense for Toronto and James Reimer allowed both Carolina tallies on 26 shots.
"Goals aren't easy right now," said Horachek.
Toronto is kicking off a two-game homestand tonight and will wrap the set Thursday against Philadelphia. The Leafs have lost two straight and four of their last five as the host and are 16-13-0 at ACC this season.
Michael Hutchinson will start in net for the Jets and is expected to face Bernier.