Maple Leafs top Blue Jackets 4-2, rematch set for Friday
TORONTO (AP) — Zach Hyman scored two goals in a four-minute span late in third period and the Toronto Maple Leafs extended their winning streak to four games with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
Hyman’s second goal of the season came with 4:22 left in regulation when he redirected a shot from the point by Morgan Rielly. Hyman added an empty-netter with 61 seconds left.
The Leafs were coming off a three-game California sweep. Toronto has a league-best 9-1-0 record on the road. The Leafs improved to 6-5-0 at home.
The Blue Jackets lost in regulation for the first time in eight games (5-1-2).
Toronto came in with the league’s third-best record, while Columbus was one spot back in fourth.
Tied 2-2 through 40 minutes, Marner had a backhand chance for the Leafs from the slot with just over eight minutes to go after Tavares hit the side of the net.
Andersen made a big save at the other end moments later on a scramble in the crease before Hyman redirected Rielly’s shot past Bobrovsky.
Columbus pulled Bobrovsky with 1:45 remaining.
Down 2-0 after the first, Toronto got on the board with 6:59 left in the second when Ennis used a couple of spin moves and slid the puck through Bobrovsky’s legs from a tough angle.
Andersen then stopped Josh Anderson’s move to the backhand on a breakaway to keep the Leafs down by one before Marner tied the game.
Marner stepped past Columbus defenseman Scott Harrington before tapping his own rebound back in front of Bobrovsky’s net, where Tavares scored his 13th.
Marner now has one goal and seven assists during a five-game point streak.
Despite coming out flat following victories over the Los Angeles Kings (5-1), San Jose Sharks (5-3) and Anaheim Ducks (2-1 in overtime) last week, Toronto could have easily found themselves up 2-0 early on Monday.
Ennis hit the post on a 2-on-1 break under three minutes in before Connor Brown somehow chipped a puck off the iron from the lip of the crease.
Columbus carried much of the play and took the lead with 5:21 remaining in the first after some sloppy play from Rielly and Hainsey.
Dubois knocked down Hainsey’s clearing attempt and fed Atkinson, who beat Andersen between the pads for his 13th goal and seventh in the last five outings.
Columbus went up 2-0 with 47.5 seconds left in the period on another Leafs defensive miscue as Dubois cleaned up in front after Atkinson lost the puck on an attempted move between the legs for his 10th.
With the victory, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock passed Red Kelly and Pat Burns for fifth place in franchise history with 133 regular-season coaching wins. Punch Imlach leads with 370, followed by Pat Quinn (300), Hap Day (259) and Dick Irvin (215).
NOTES: There were no penalties called in the game. … Bobrovsky had allowed just one goal in each of his last four starts prior to Monday. … Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews practiced with his teammates Sunday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury Oct. 27. The 21-year-old wore a red non-contact jersey for that session and was also out for Monday’s optional morning skate. … Atkinson scored the fifth hat trick of his career in Saturday’s 4-1 road victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Leafs: Visit Carolina on Wednesday.
Blue Jackets: Host Toronto in a rematch on Friday.
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