for this game

Jets try to find success on the road versus Maple Leafs

Jan 5, 2012 - 3:47 PM (Sports Network) - After a successful December in which they played just twice away from Winnipeg, the Jets kicked off their road-heavy January with a lopsided loss.

The Jets aim to rebound tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs as they play the second of what will be nine road games this month.

Winnipeg went 10-3-1 in December to keep up pace in the Southeast Division, but currently sit in a tie with Toronto for the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference with 43 points. That also has the Jets four points back of the first-place Panthers in the Southeast Division.

The Jets began a four-game road trip and a span of 15 of their next 21 on the road last night with a 7-3 defeat in Montreal. Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist as Winnipeg failed to match a season high with a fourth straight victory.

Tim Stapleton and Andrew Ladd also scored, while Ondrej Pavelec gave up six goals on 24 shots before getting replaced by Chris Mason.

"We weren't prepared to do what we had done in the past month and it showed," said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel.

Toronto opened up a four-game homestand on Tuesday with a 7-3 triumph over Tampa Bay, matching a season high for goals in a game. Joffrey Lupul led the way with a goal and three assists, upping his season point total to 44. That leaves Lupul tied for fifth overall in the NHL and one back of Phil Kessel for the team lead.

Matt Frattin, Dion Phaneuf and Mikhail Grabovski each added a goal and one helper for the Maple Leafs, who had lost three in a row and six of their past eight. However, they got on track with their second straight offensive outburst over the Lightning after also besting the club 7-1 back on Nov. 22.

Jonas Gustavsson needed to make just 19 saves for his 10th win of the season.

"The last time we played them, they weren't playing well, but this time we just had our foot on the gas the whole time," said Leafs head coach Ron Wilson about his club's explosive performance. "Every time they managed to tie the game, we managed to bounce back within the next shift or two."

The Maple Leafs and Jets have split two meetings so far this year, with each team winning once on home ice. Winnipeg has dropped four of its past six in Toronto.