COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Leo Komarov scored two late goals and Toronto beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 on Friday night to give Mike Babcock his first victory as coach of the Maple Leafs.
Joffrey Lupul had a goal and an assist, and Jake Gardiner, James van Riemsdyk, and Nazem Kadri also scored to help Toronto improve to 1-2-1. Daniel Winnik added three assists, Morgan Rielly had two, and James Reimer finished with 24 saves. The Maple Leafs played for the first time six days.
Scott Hartnell had a goal and an assist to reach 600 career points, and Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno also scored for Columbus. The Blue Jackets are 0-5-0, extending the worst start in franchise history.
Sergei Bobrovsky continued to mostly struggle, making 28 saves on 33 shots, but allowing two tough ones in the third period with the game in the balance. The Blue Jackets have allowed 26 goals.
After Columbus rallied from two down to tie it at 3 early in the third period, Lupul scored with a shot from the slot at the 4-minute mark to put Toronto ahead.
Komarov beat Bobrovsky between his legs with 4:45 left, and added an empty-netter.
Mostly out of sync the first two periods, a little luck helped revive Columbus.
Late in the second, the puck hit Hartnell up high near the goal and caromed off the end boards to Foligno at the post for a jam shot with 1:58 left. Then, 59 seconds into the third, Hartnell scored on the power play.
Jenner started the scoring at 3:47 of the first period, redirecting the puck between Reimer’s pads.
Gardiner tied it 29 seconds into the second period with a point shot. Winnik fed him from down low after a nice puck-battle win in a scrum.
James van Riemsdyk and Nazim Kadri scored 1:18 apart later in the second to make it 3-1.
Van Riemsdyk scored at 7:34 on what appeared to by an innocent play moving into the Blue Jackets’ zone. But he used the traffic around him as a screen to get the puck past a surprised Bobrovsky. A costly blunder by defenseman Jack Johnson sending the puck toward his own net, handed Kadri an easy stuff in at 8:52.
NOTES: RW David Clarkson, acquired late last season from Toronto along with his hefty contract in exchange RW Nathan Horton, made his season debut for Columbus. Clarkson, who fought Dion Phaneuf late in the second period, missed the first four games with back and groin issues. …The Maple Leafs visit Pittsburgh on Saturday and will face Phil Kessel for the first time since trading him in July. … Reimer won for first time in four tries against Columbus.