Nyquist's penalty shot in OT lifts Blue Jackets past Leafs
TORONTO (AP) — Gustav Nyquist couldn’t recall getting a penalty shot in overtime before.
He scored on his chance 1:57 into the extra period Monday night, giving the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I think that’s my first one,” Nyquist said. “So it felt nice to put that one in.”
Riley Nash, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Alexander Wennberg scored in regulation for Columbus, and Nick Foligno had two assists. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 28 shots.
“It was a game where I thought the puck was bouncing all over the place,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “We certainly weren’t sharp. They weren’t sharp.”
Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander and Kasperi Kapanen also scored for Toronto. Andreas Johnsson and Jake Muzzin each had two assists, and Frederik Andersen finished with 34 saves.
“The issues for us … discipline and shift length,” Maple Leafs coach Mike 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.”
Andersen stopped Dubois on a breakaway seconds into overtime. He then robbed Wennberg, before Nyquist was hooked by Mitch Marner on another 1-on-1 chance at the end of a long shift for the Maple Leafs.
With fans inside Scotiabank Arena voicing their displeasure, Nyquist moved in and beat Andersen under the glove for his second goal of the season.
“I felt a hook when I got in there,” Nyquist said. “I’m assuming that’s why it was called.”
Playing their second game since captain John Tavares suffered a broken finger that will keep him out until at least early November, the Maple Leafs were far from their best with a number of sloppy sequences at both ends of the rink. Still, they led 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Columbus tied it up, however, on a power play at 10:09 of the third when Wennberg scored his second after Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly blocked Zach Werenski’s initial shot.
Andersen, who recovered nicely after allowing goals on the Blue Jackets’ first two shots of the game, stopped Cam Atkinson on a breakaway with under four minutes left in regulation.
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 and saw his initial shot stopped by Korpisalo. Johnsson heeled the rebound and it found Nyander, who buried his third goal of the season to snap a four-game point drought.
Despite his early blemishes, Andersen was the story for Toronto most of the period.
“He made a number of really good saves to keep us ahead, keep us tied,” Matthews said. “In the third they came at us.”
The goalie stopped Ryan Murray from the slot early in the second and then stacked the pads to deny Dubois later on after a turnover by Muzzin before Nylander pushed his team ahead.
Coming off consecutive 3-2 overtime losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders, the Blue Jackets jumped out to that 2-0 lead in front of a stunned Scotiabank Arena crowd.
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 center fed Foligno in front, and he passed right back to Nash, who made no mistake for his first.
“That was a great play all around,” Nash said. “We were talking about trying to get a little more up-ice pressure so I was trying to engage as fast as possible, not let them get a head of steam coming back up ice. … Saw an opening, definitely was going to shoot it, but I think he toe-picked or almost fell down and decided to pass it (back). I was happy to hit the back of the net.”
The Blue Jackets then went up by 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 — then went on the power play with a chance to go up 3-0, but 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 short-handed break for his second at 11:25.
Toronto tied it 2-2 with 38.2 seconds remaining when Johnsson, who left Saturday’s victory after blocking a shot, found Matthews at the lip of the crease for his eighth.
NOTES: Columbus F Josh Anderson returned to the lineup after missing the last six games with an upper-body injury suffered Oct. 5. … The attendance was 18,891. … Andersen made 43 saves in Saturday’s thrilling 4-3 overtime victory against the Bruins at home, 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.
Blue Jackets: Host Carolina on Thursday night.
Maple Leafs: At Boston on Tuesday night.
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