Van Riemsdyk scores twice, Maple Leafs top Blue Jackets 5-2
TORONTO (AP) — James van Riemsdyk scored two goals and added an assist, helping the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.
The win was the Maple Leafs’ first in two games under interim coach Peter Horachek, who took over for the fired Randy Carlyle.
Tyler Bozak, Daniel Winnik and Phil Kessel added goals for Toronto, and Jonathan Bernier made 18 saves.
Ryan Johansen scored twice for the Blue Jackets, who were held to just 20 shots — the second-fewest allowed this season by the Maple Leafs who gave up only 10 to Buffalo in a 4-0 win on Oct. 28.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves after signing a $29.7-million, four-year extension earlier in the day.
Johansen got Columbus started off early, going in on a breakaway after Cody Franson turned the puck over to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead just 3:15 in. Johansen extended his goal streak to five games and his point streak to 10.
At 8:30, Bozak tied it when his attempted centering pass from below the goal-line went off the inside of Columbus defenseman Cody Goloubef’s right skate and in. Bobrovsky could do nothing to stop it.
A few minutes later, Bozak was at it again. This time, he made a perfect pass to Winnik, who beat Bobrovsky short side at 14:32 to give the Leafs the lead.
Then, Toronto’s power play went to work. With David Savard already in the box for interference, the Blue Jackets took a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty to give the Leafs 1:39 of 5-on-3 time.
The Leafs made the most of it, as van Riemsdyk’s cross-crease pass went off Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin’s stick before Kessel got a final whack in at the goal-line for his 19th of the season to make it 3-1 at 16:31.
On the remainder of the regular power play, van Riemsdyk beat Bobrovsky clean at 17:43 to give the Leafs a three-goal lead. It was the first time Toronto scored more than one power-play goal in a game since Nov. 29.
When Winnik took a tripping penalty early in the second, the Blue Jackets scored a power-play goal of their own. With Scott Hartnell setting a screen in front, Johansen scored his second of the night and 15th of the season.
Van Riemsdyk’s second goal went into an empty net to seal it.
NOTES: Referee Dean Morton was upended by David Clarkson in an accidental collision early in the first period. Morton flipped in the air and went down to the ice in pain. After being attended to by training staff, Morton was helped off and did not return. Marc Joanette worked the rest of the game with linesmen Greg Devorski and Mark Shewchyk. … Kessel was playing in his 406th consecutive game, second in Leafs history behind only Tim Horton (486). … The late J.P. Parise was honored on the video screens in the first period. Parise, a member of Canada’s 1972 Summit Series team, died Wednesday night from lung cancer. He was 73.