The Columbus Blue Jackets took advantage of the well-rested Toronto Maple Leafs.
Cam Atkinson and R.J. Umberger scored 20 seconds apart in the first period, and Ryan Johansen added two goals as the Blue Jackets rolled to a 6-0 win over the Maple Leafs on Monday night.
After Toronto earned a 2-1 shootout victory over Washington on Saturday night, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle rewarded his team with Sunday off.
The move then backfired.
"We didn’t have energy off a day off yesterday," Carlyle said. "It just seemed like we lacked the necessary pace that was required to compete in the game.
Jack Skille and Ryan Murray added goals 3:15 apart in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 18 saves for his fifth career NHL shutout. The Blue Jackets went 3-2 on their five-game road trip.
Toronto’s James Reimer allowed all six goals on 21 shots two nights after he had a career-high, 49-save performance.
"We limited their opportunities. I thought our forwards did a good job of getting in the shooting lanes and forcing their shots wide," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "Our defense really competed in front of our net, boxing out, where Bob could see the puck.
"We were opportunistic in the offensive zone."
Atkinson opened the scoring 10:18 in when he knocked Matt Calvert’s pass out of the air and past Reimer for his sixth goal. Umberger quickly added his sixth, putting home the rebound after Reimer made the initial save on Ryan Murray’s wraparound.
James van Riemsdyk had Toronto best chance of the first period, one-timing Phil Kessel’s feed through Bobrovsky’s pads, but the puck trickled just wide of the Columbus net.
In the second, Mark Letestu capitalized on Mark Fraser’s turnover at the Columbus blue line. Letestu fed Skille on a 2-on-1 break for his first of the season and first with the Blue Jackets at 3:07 of the period.
Skille drew a hooking penalty 2:13 later.
On the ensuing power play, Murray put Johansen’s feed past Reimer. Murray posted his first career multipoint game.
"We made sure we all worked together as a five-man unit every shift and stuck to a system," Skille said. "We made sure we played simple road hockey. That was the key."
The Blue Jackets scored twice on their first four shots of the second period prompting the crowd to jeer Reimer following a routine save.
Johansen finished a 2-on-1 feed from Nick Foligno at 9:05 of the third making it 5-0. Johansen then added his team-leading eighth goal at 11:25, ending Reimer’s night early.
Reimer entered with a 6-2 record, NHL-best .947 save percentage, and a 2.10 goals-against average.
Since allowing four goals to Ottawa and getting pulled in his second game of the season on Oct. 5, Reimer had stopped 156 of 161 shots at home. Reimer was 4-0 in five starts during that span.
This was Reimer’s first start and loss against Columbus.
"The first two were kind of bad bounces or weird plays, and then the rest were good plays, good shots," Reimer said. "I don’t really have much to say. Don’t really have much to offer. It just wasn’t my night.
"It’s obviously disappointing what happened and frustrating."
Bernier made one save in relief.
At 10:50 of the third, Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf was assessed a minor penalty for illegal contact to the head when he caught Columbus forward Artem Anisimov with an open-ice hit. Anisimov left the game and didn’t return.
"The refs have a tough job to do. The game’s moving very quickly and I hit him shoulder-to-shoulder," Phaneuf said. "(The referee) just said from his angle that he saw contact, but that’s all I’m going to say on that. I felt that it was a clean hit. Shoulder to shoulder."
Adding to Toronto’s poor showing, forward Joffrey Lupul left the game at the end of the second period and didn’t come back to the game.
Tyler Bozak made his return to the Maple Leafs lineup after he missing 12 games because of a hamstring injury. Bozak finished with a minus-2 rating.
NOTES:With the return of Bozak, Peter Holland was a healthy scratch. … Columbus used an emergency recall to bring up forward Sean Collins from Springfield of the AHL, but he didn’t get to Toronto in time for puck drop. … Blue Jackets D Dalton Prout was activated from the injured list and returned to the lineup after missing five games with a back injury. The Blue Jackets placed Brandon Dubinsky (foot) on the injured list, retroactive to Nov. 19.