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Maple Leafs fire their way past the Blue Jackets

Two wins from two for the boys in blue

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

First Period

  • [20:00] Lets get started. The Leafs kick things off on Game 2, with Frederik Andersen in net. On the other end, they have to get past Joonas Korpisalo. Nic Petan, Jason Spezza, and Justin Holl draw in for Nick Shore, Dmytro Timashov, and Martin Marincin.
  • [18:23] Strong first couple shifts for the Blue Jackets, who look energised by a fairly raucous crowd. So far, the Leafs are playing in their defensive zone, though the Jackets haven’t created any great opportunities in these first few shifts either.
  • [16:53] The Leafs get their first shot courtesy of Nic Petan, as the fourth line manages to break the pattern of the Jackets keeping the Leafs in their zone.
  • [16:18] The Leafs get their first good chance, as the deflection from a Morgan Rielly point shot falls to John Tavares in the slot. His shot gets deflected into the netting.
  • [15:49] Tyson Barrie takes a holding penalty trying to fend off Nick Foligno as he enters the offensive zone. Bit of an awkward play from Barrie as the puck was in his feet.
  • [14:45] Justin Holl plays some PK, and acquits himself reasonably well in this particular kill.
  • [13:55] The Jackets power play looks very ineffective in this instance, as they were unable to really get their setup.
  • [10:22] Sandin falls while trying to move the puck out from his own zone, but recovers, and no harm results.
  • [9:47] A nice move by Andreas Johnsson sees him bearing down on the goalie with Morgan Rielly on a quasi-2-on-1. Korpisalo makes a solid positional save as Johnsson elects to shoot (the passing angle would have been quite tight).
  • [8:04] The Leafs go to the power play, as David Savard is penalised for interfering with Jason Spezza.
  • [7:56] Wow, that was fast! Mitch Marner plays catch with John Tavares and fires a wrister on the return past Korpisalo. Korpisalo looks like he overcommitted to the initial pass from Marner to Tavares, and was wholly unprepared for the return feed. Nice work by the power play! 1-0 Leafs.
  • [7:15] Johnsson is a little too aggressive on the forecheck, taking a slashing call for a particularly zealous attempt to regain the puck. The Jackets go back to the man advantage.
  • [5:15] Another strong kill for the Leafs (or depending on your perspective, a bad power play from the Blue Jackets), and Toronto escapes unscathed again.
  • [3:31] A bad turnover from Seth Jones essentially centres the puck for Matthews, but he is unable to beat Korpisalo.
  • [2:33] After Marner nearly gets a partial break, he sets up Tavares for a great chance in the slot. Once again, Toronto is stymied by Korpisalo.
  • [1:38] A puck hopes over Sandin’s stick in the neutral zone, creating a partial break for Columbus. Holl does a good job coming back to make it difficult.
  • [1:02] William Nylander gets held in the offensive zone, and the Leafs head to the power play.
  • [0:52] That was not a long-lived power play, as Johnsson takes a tripping penalty trying to prevent Boone Jenner from getting a chance in front of the net. Clear penalty call there, as Johnsson basically slew-footed Jenner.
  • [0:00] First period ends with the Leafs up 1-0. Pretty solid period from them, as they started a little slow, but played well as the period progressed. Hopefully they can keep it going.

Second Period

  • [18:45] The 4-on-4 and abbreviated Columbus power play pass without incident.
  • [18:05] Sandin has a shift with Rielly - not much of note happens, and I’m guessing its the result of the special teams play, but that’s something to keep an eye on going forward.
  • [16:53] The Leafs get a nice shift from their fourth line, which, like may fourth line shifts, doesn’t result in any particularly great chances, but does result in some solid zone time and point shots.
  • [15:14] Pierre-Luc Dubois has a dominant shift, and towards the end, the Jackets are able to create a chance in tight for Alexandre Texier. He just misses the net, and the game could very easily be tied right now. Earlier on that shift, Tyson Barrie got a critical block on a Zach Werenski shot from the side of the net.
  • [13:42] Josh Anderson gets sprung for a breakaway, but Andersen stones him.
  • [11:28] Kapanen blocks a slapshot from Jones and hurts himself in the process. Hopefully it's just temporary.
  • [9:49] The Leafs fourth line has been frisky... another strong shift from them, resulting in a Columbus icing. Leafs will get to put the Matthews line out against tired players.
  • [9:25] And it pays off! Cody Ceci scores! After Matthews wins the draw, Nylander cycles the puck to Rielly. The defence collapses on Rielly, who finds Ceci skating in, and he wires one past Korpisalo from the right dot. 2-0 Toronto.
  • [7:44] Once again, Sandin out with Barrie - not sure how it happened. Might have just been a scrambled change, which are more common in the second period due to the long distance between the defensive zone and the bench.
  • [6:45] Petan is robbed in front by Korpisalo. I think Gauthier is the one who set him up!
  • [6:24] The play is pretty end-to-end after the Ceci goal. Andersen makes a big save to keep it 2-0.
  • [5:53] Josh Anderson breaks in and gets past Morgan Rielly for a breakaway. Rielly holds him, but Anderson gets a shot away that Freddie saves. More incredibly, Andersen makes two more saves in the ensuing scramble before the play is whistled dead.
  • [5:49] Well, that was probably deserved. The draw squirts to no-mans land off the face-off, Andersen tries to make a play for it, but can’t, and Cam Atkinson pots one past him. 2-1 Toronto.
  • [5:31] The crowd is back into it and Columbus comes out like a house on fire after the goal, generating a couple strong chances against the Matthews line and Muzzin/Barrie (Atkinson and Dubois with the chances). Andersen keeps the Leafs in the lead. As the play goes the other way, Nylander finds Matthews in the neutral zone with speed, who carries the puck into Columbus’ end, but his shot is stopped by Korpisalo.
  • [4:16] Scott Harrington gets penalised for tripping Alexander Kerfoot (who has been pretty anonymous in this game).
  • [3:15] This Leafs power play struggles to get its setup for the first half of its duration.
  • [2:38] Nylander turns the puck over at the blue line, but Barrie bails him out by making a good play in the neutral zone.
  • [0:00] The Leafs appear to be just holding on, as the Jackets turn up the heat, creating all sorts of problems in the Leafs zone, and all sorts of chances. Andersen is keeping the Leafs lead all by himself, but they just manage to get through the period.

Third Period

  • [19:12] Johnsson and Nylander combine to give the former a great chance in front, but it’s deflected. As the play progresses, Johnsson gets tied up with Josh Anderson, and Korpisalo gives Johnsson a slash for good measure. Both Johnsson and Anderson get offsetting minors.
  • [17:58] The Leafs do well in the 4-on-4 segment that results, controlling the puck well.
  • [17:44] And right on cue, Mitch Marner gets another. He completely dances around Werenski, makes his way to the front of the net, and his shot trickles its way through Korpisalo. 3-1 Leafs, and a pair of goals on the night for Marner.
  • [14:31] I haven’t seen Holl at all in this period. I don’t think he’s been particularly bad, but he might be benched anyways.
  • [14:05] Accordingly, Sandin is with Ceci right now. After a Columbus shot, Sandin can’t find the rebound, leading to a goalmouth opportunity for Jenner. He rings it off the post, and the two goal lead is maintained.
  • [13:28] At the end of that same shift, Jenner takes an interference penalty, and the Leafs get to (hopefully) kill a couple of the minutes remaining in this game.
  • [12:23] Marner is such a wizard on the power play. He makes a no-look pass to a completely free Kapanen in front, whose deflection is saved.
  • [10:07] A loose puck makes its way to Nick Foligno in the low slot, but Andersen stones him completely. He’s been phenomenal tonight.
  • [7:33] Nylander draws another penalty - I think that’s his second tonight. This is a useful one, as it again provides 2 minutes where the Leafs are highly unlikely to succeed. Texier is the one who takes the penalty, for slashing.
  • [5:56] The Leafs second unit power play does nothing, but their first unit looks as good as it did this time last year. Auston Matthews wires a shot off the back bar - absolutely nutty shot there. 4-1 Toronto.
  • [5:08] Rielly and Marner with the assists there. Both have three points for the game, making me look silly for predicting regression from both at the start of the year.
  • [3:31] Justin Holl has been unearthed from the bench to play in garbage time of this game.
  • [2:07] Gauthier takes a high-sticking penalty.
  • [0:00] Leafs win! They get back at it Saturday night against the Habs. See you then!