Columbus Blue Jackets beat Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime
Published Tuesday, October 22, 2019 1:00AM EDT
Columbus Blue Jackets centre Alexander Wennberg (10) is congratulated by teammates Zach Werenski (8) and Gustav Nyquist (left) after scoring the game-tying goal on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during third period NHL action in Toronto on Monday, October 21, 2019. Leafs Justin Holl (3) and Trevor Moore (42) react with Andersen. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)
TORONTO -- Mike Babcock pulled out the scoresheet and went over the penalties against his Maple Leafs.
"Slashing, tripping, hooking, tripping, tripping," lamented Toronto's head coach.
A sixth infraction wound up being the difference Monday.
Gustav Nyquist scored on a penalty shot at 1:57 of overtime as the Columbus Blue Jackets downed the Leafs 4-3.
The summer free-agent acquisition was hooked by Mitch Marner as he moved in alone on Frederik Andersen at the end of a long shift for both teams in the extra period. With fans inside Scotiabank Arena voicing their displeasure, Nyquist then beat the Toronto netminder under the glove for his second goal of the season to snap a two-game slide.
"The issues for us ... discipline and shift length," Babcock said. "We do lots of good things. The ability to maintain it and do it for 60 (minutes) hasn't been something that we've done.
"You've got to mature and grow up as a group for that to happen. You just have to. The level of focus that you bring to your job each day, no matter what job you do, has to be at a high."
Nyquist's winner was the first penalty-shot goal in overtime in franchise history. It was also the first time in Toronto's modern history the Leafs have lost on a penalty shot in OT.
"It was a game where I thought the puck was bouncing all over the place," Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella said. "We certainly weren't sharp. They weren't sharp."
Riley Nash, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Alexander Wennberg scored in regulation for Columbus (4-3-2). Nick Foligno chipped in with two assists for the Blue Jackets, who got 28 stops from Joonas Korpisalo.
Auston Matthews, with a goal and an assist, William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen replied for Toronto (5-3-2). Andreas Johnsson and Jake Muzzin added two assists each.
Frederik Andersen allowed goals on the first two shots he faced -- neither was his fault -- before rebounding to finish with 34 saves, including one on a Dubois breakaway in OT before Nyquist's winner.
"Everyone can improve. We have high standards," Andersen said. "We want to keep working on living up to those standards. That's how great teams are.
"We've shown how good we can be sometimes, but it's tough when we don't start on time."
Playing their second game since captain John Tavares suffered a broken finger, the Leafs were far from their best with a number of sloppy sequences at both ends of the rink, but they led 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Columbus tied it up, however, at 10:09 of the third on its fifth power play when Wennberg slid home his second after Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly blocked Zach Werenski's initial shot and Andersen stopped the follow-up effort.
"We're getting more comfortable in uncomfortable situations," Foligno said. "We're a team that's getting used to playing in those one-goal games."
Andersen stopped Cam Atkinson on a breakaway with under four minutes left in regulation to force overtime as the Blue Jackets pushed.
"He made a number of really good saves to keep us ahead, keep us tied," Matthews said. "In the third they came at us."
Nylander put the Leafs ahead 3-2 with 14.5 seconds left in the middle period when Matthews grabbed a loose puck in the slot. Johnsson heeled the rebound and it fell to Nyander, who buried his third to snap a four-game point drought.
Despite the early blemishes, Andersen was the story for Toronto most of the period.
He stopped Ryan Murray early in the second and then stacked the pads to deny Dubois after a Muzzin turnover before Nylander pushed his team ahead.
Andersen made 43 saves in Saturday's thrilling 4-3 overtime victory against the Bruins, but No. 2 goalie Michael Hutchinson is expected to get the start in the second half of a back-to-back -- and Toronto's third game in four nights -- in the rematch Tuesday at Boston's TD Garden.
Coming off consecutive 3-2 overtime losses, Nash got things started with Columbus killing a penalty just 2:31 in when he stole the puck from Marner in Toronto's end. The centre fed Foligno in front, and he passed right back to Nash, who made no mistake for his first.
The visitors went up two at 5:52 when Dubois fought off Matthews coming out of the corner and stuffed his fourth past Andersen.
The Blue Jackets -- who made the second round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last spring before losing Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Matt Duchene in free agency -- went on the power play with a chance to go up 3-0, but the Leafs were the ones to capitalize.
Columbus turned the puck over at the offensive blue line, with Marner making amends for the early gaffe by feeding Kapanen on a 2-on-1 break for his second goal, and second while short-handed, at 11:25.
Toronto, which beat Columbus 4-1 in the Blue Jackets' home opener, got its second man advantage, but Korpisalo was there to rob Matthews twice, Rielly and Johnsson.
The Blue Jackets came close to going up 3-1 after hemming the Leafs in their own zone late in the period, but Toronto survived and pulled even with 38.2 seconds remaining when Johnsson, who left Saturday's victory after blocking a shot, found Matthews for his eighth.
"We've got to find a way to come out and put together a full 60 of hard work," Muzzin said. "We do it in spurts, but we need to do it (consistently)."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2019.