The Toronto Maple Leafs allowed five unanswered goals through the first two periods against the Blue Jackets. In the third, they got them all back! It was enough to climb the mountain they partially made for themselves after deserving a much better result for most of the way.

And then they lost in overtime.

William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Jake McCabe, and Auston Matthews scored twice for the Leafs in the third. Patrik Laine, Kent Johnson, Justin Danforth, Yegor Chinakov, and Johnny Gaudreau scored for CBJ. Kent Johnson scored again to win it in overtime.

Ilya Samsonov allowed five goals on 33 shots in regulation. Elvis Merzlikins allowed five goals on 46 shots in regulation. Samsonov allowed one of the two shots he faced in overtime. Merzlikins saved both shots against him.

The Leafs deserved to win this game most of the way through. They just didn't get the bounces – I'll single out Nylander as someone who was around the net a lot but just couldn't get the puck in – while on the other side the Blue Jackets got all of them. That only changed hands in the third after some determination in the second intermission. Leaders lead, and the Leafs stars should be given every credit for being leaders.

Morgan Rielly played 26 minutes. Marner played 25. Matthews and McCabe 24. Nylander 23.

First Period


Patrik Laine beats Samsonov in front of the net after the Leafs failed to clear the puck a couple times. Domi especially had his soft pass behind the net to McCabe cut off, causing the Leafs to be thinking zone exit when the Blue Jackets were thinking goal.

Samsonov's next bit of work was an unthreatening shot on net from a failed rush that Samsonov fumbled and led to some panic in front of his net.

Reaves fell awkwardly into the boards on his own, hitting the boards upright onto his knees/ankles. He fell to the ice and needed assistance going to the Leafs dressing room. The speculation is it was a rut in the ice that sped up his right leg like a ski.


Kent Johnson tipped Peeke's shot-pass from the point into the top corner. Matthews was a little too far away from his centre check to tie him up once he got set.

After One

And to add insult to injury...

Additional insult, the Leafs were out-shot 10-11 in the first period and the Leafs forwards only accounted for four shots.

Second Period

Merzlikins stole a goal from Tavares, who made a move to the blue paint and almost tucked the puck around but was smothered by the Blue Jackets goalie. Matthews was on a shift with Matthews and Domi at the time.

It's hard to know what's a line change and what the Leafs are putting out as a legitimate line. Perhaps the coaching staff doesn't know what to do either?

Lagesson got smothered after tangling himself up with Laine before the forward collided with the boards. I'll say as someone who never played competitive hockey that his collision with the boards wasn't overly hard, but it was two bodies going into the corner. It could also be the re-aggravation of an injury.

On a later look, Lagesson slew-footed Laine, kicking his feet out from under him. Dirty play, don't do that.

Lagesson got a tripping call, while Cole Sillinger got two for roughing, leading to some 4v4 time.


Justin Danforth (I'm not clever enough to make a neighbourhood joke) threw the rebound from a point shot that bounced off the glass towards the slot. His toss bounced off Samsonov's blocker on the short side and bounced into the net.


Samsonov still in net after this goal from Chinakov.


I almost thought the period was over. Oh-ho-ho nope. Gaudreau walks in freely, Brodie gets out of his way with the fake, and he beats Samsonov cleanly.

Additional insult and injury to the various other injuries and insults before this. Timmins and McCabe ran into each other at the offensive blue line with 0.9 seconds left in the period. McCabe seemed to get the most of it.

After Two

Third Period

Nylander and Marner give the Leafs some life to start the third.


Nylander scored within the first minute of the final frame after a low-high pass from Matthews. The Blue Jackets defenders were nowhere to be seen.


Marner with a nasty dangle goal to get another goal in quick succession. Tavares brought the puck into the zone, Marner took it wide and then brought it right back in.

They get another chance, the Leafs stars got more bold with less to lose on all their plays in the first half of the third.

There was a lull in the play as the Leafs stars needed to take a breather and the bottom six was sent out. They went out for a power play, but it was the second unit that converted.


Jake McCabe on the second power play unit smashes a slapshot directly to the top left corner. Bertuzzi with a good screen in front for another uncounted assist.

Still down two goals with five minutes left, the Leafs were desperate to get another goal.


With the empty net and 1:15 on the clock, Nylander to Matthews! #22 for Matthews in game #27.




Werenski won a footrace against Rielly and nearly beat Samsonov. While Samsonov thought he had covered the puck, two Blue Jackets nearly knocked it in but somehow didn't.

Nylander with a breakaway to win it, but the puck got lost somewhere in Merzlikins' pads.

Matthews with a huge shot to the five-hole.

Matthews with another shot to the top corner.


Kent Johnson scores.