Wed, 23 Sep 2020

Leafs score 3 with goalie pulled, stun Jackets in OT

Field Level Media
08 Aug 2020, 13:40 GMT+10

Auston Matthews scored the overtime game winner to complete a wild comeback and the Toronto Maple Leafs claimed a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night in Toronto to force a fifth and deciding game in their Eastern Conference qualifying-round series.

The clubs will decide who advances in the playoffs Sunday in Toronto, with the winner meeting either the Tampa Bay Lightning or Philadelphia Flyers.

Ten seconds into a power play, Matthews took a cross-ice feed from John Tavares and immediately fired a one-timer into the net at 13:10 of the extra period to cap a three-point night.

One night after erasing a three-goal deficit to claim a 4-3 overtime victory, the Blue Jackets saw a 3-0 lead of their own disappear in stunning fashion.

First, Cam Atkinson opened the scoring at the 3:58 mark of the game. Game 3 hero Pierre-Luc Dubois zoomed up the ice to create an odd-man rush and, after forcing the defender to back into Leafs goaltender Frederick Andersen, set up Atkinson for a tap-in tally.

Vladislav Gavrikov doubled the lead 4:40 into the second period. After Alexandre Texier gained the puck on the forecheck and moved it to the point, David Savard passed it across to Gavrikov, and his long shot ricocheted off the stick of Toronto forward Mitch Marner and into the cage.

The result appeared sealed when Boone Jenner was the beneficiary of a turnover created by Nick Foligno and buried the ensuing opportunity to make it a 3-0 count with less than six minutes remaining in regulation.

But that's when the Maple Leafs turned the tables by scoring three times with their goalie pulled for the extra attacker. William Nylander began the comeback by banging home a rebound with 3:57 left on the clock to put Toronto on the board.

Tavares scored 51 seconds later to make it a one-goal game. Taking advantage of an odd-man rush, Tavares was fed the puck in the high slot and ripped a top-corner offering.

With his team enjoying all the momentum, Zach Hyman scored with 22.2 seconds remaining to force overtime by kicking the puck from his skate to his stick and snapping home the shot.

Andersen make 36 saves in the win, while Elvis Merzlikins stopped 49 shots for Columbus.

--Field Level Media

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