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FINAL: Blue Jackets 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)

Nyquist's penalty shot goal earns victory for Columbus

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Playing in their third straight overtime game, the Blue Jackets this time emerged victorious, taking a 4-3 victory against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

Game in a Paragraph 

It was a wild first period, as the teams were tied at 2 as Columbus took a 2-0 lead in the first six minutes only to give it up by intermission. Toronto took a 3-2 lead late in the second. A power-play goal tied it near the midway point of the third, and the teams went to overtime knotted at 3. There, Gustav Nyquist's penalty shot goal 1:57 into overtime served as the winner for the Blue Jackets, who have claimed points in five straight games. 

Video: CBJ@TOR: Nyquist scores on penalty shot for OT win

Quote of the Game

Nick Foligno: "You have to find ways to win those games. You're happy being on this side of it, and I"m really proud of the group for figuring that out because it would have hurt a lot more playing a game like that and losing knowing you had points on the board that you could have taken. I'm really proud of the guys for banding together and finding a way to get this one done."

CBJ Notables 

  • Riley Nash scored his first goal of the season. 
  • Pierre-Luc Dubois tallied for the fourth time in the past six games, extending his team lead.  
  • Foligno had two assists, was plus-2 and won 7 of 16 draws while playing in his 850th career game.  

Quick Recap 

There were plenty of talking points in the first 20 minutes, including a two-goal lead for the Blue Jackets within the first 5:52. 

Nash got the scoring started just 2:37 in with a shorthanded goal, as he stripped the puck from Mitch Marner then worked a perfect give-and-go with Foligno before firing past Frederik Anderson. 

Dubois doubled the advantage with 5:52 gone, as he found the puck off a pass from Foligno in the right corner, turned and cut to the net along the goal line while holding off Auston Matthews, then fired past Andersen from in close.  

But the Maple Leafs had the jump in the first 20 minutes and would tie it before the frame was over. Toronto scored its own shorthanded goal at 11:25, as Marner and Kasperi Kapanen had a 2-on-1 and the latter finished past Korpisalo on the cross-crease feed. 

Korpisalo made a number of stunning saves later in the period on a Toronto power play -- including excellent stops with his pad and blocker on Matthews as well as a tight-in, full extension pad stop on Andreas Johnsson -- but the Leafs tied it with 38.2 seconds left. Johnsson's shot pass from the left circle found Matthews open in front and he simply redirected it into the open cage for his eighth goal of the young season. 

Ryan Murray, Dubois and Gustav Nyquist all had good looks on Andersen in the second period, but the Danish goalie made the stops he had to, and the Leafs eventually took the lead with 14.5 seconds left in the period. Columbus couldn't clear a loose puck and Matthews took a shot on net that Korpisalo stopped, but Johnsson tapped the rebound to William Nylander back-door to stuff home, making it 3-2.  

But Columbus grabbed the momentum in the third period and tied the score with 9:51 to go with a power-play goal. Zach Werenski had a shot blocked from the right point but followed it and threw it on net, then Alexander Wennberg slid the rebound underneath Andersen to make it 3-3.  

Columbus had a great chance to take the lead with 3:40 left as Atkinson was sprung on a breakaway, but Andersen made the save on his forehand shot. Dubois also had a breakaway on the first shift of overtime, but Andersen stopped it with his blocker. 

But Toronto's luck ran out in overtime, as Columbus earned a penalty shot when Marner hooked Nyquist on a breakaway. Nyquist converted, beating Andersen to the glove side for the winner. 

"Just try to see what was open and try to hit the spot," he said of his plan of attack on the goal. "It's nice to see it go in."

3 Takeaways

1. Power play comes through: Judging by Twitter mentions, the fan base had reached the point of restlessness with the team's power play through two periods. Going 0-for-4 -- and stretching the team's scoreless run with the man advantage to 18 chances -- will do that. But as they say, the fifth time was the charm as the Jackets tied it in the third period on the power play. It was an adjustment that worked, as the team went with two defensemen on the top unit, putting Seth Jones atop the zone with Werenski along the half wall on the right side. It was Werenski's initial shot that set in motion the events leading to Wennberg's tying goal. "I feel like they put me out there just to fire it," Werenski said. "That's why you shot the puck. It worked out for us tonight." 

2. Resilient Jackets: This is a team that over the past three seasons of playoff berths has really learned how to win, and that was on display in Toronto. After seeing a 2-0 lead evaporate and turn into a 3-2 hole, the Blue Jackets went to the locker room after 40 minutes having given up a goal in the last minute of the period for the second time in the game. What was the mood in the room? "Guys were still upbeat, and we knew we were still in the game," head coach John Tortorella said." The result was the team's first win in four tries when trailing after two periods. "We stick with it in here," Nyquist said. 

3. The extra point: So what was different this time in OT after the Blue Jackets had lost the previous two contests? Well, Columbus won the faceoff via Boone Jenner, which was a good start after the team had lost on the first shift of overtime twice in a row. Full marks to Wennberg, as well, for a fantastic pass to Nyquist that forced Marner to take the hooking call that gave Columbus the penalty shot. But Tortorella said there were no major adjustments, though there was likely a reminder to not cheat up the ice as the team had in losing to the Islanders on Saturday night. "You guys don't believe me, but we don't go over what we do 3-on-3," Tortorella said. "That's their game. That's their instinctive, go play. The only strategy that came into effect in my end was getting Jens out there for the faceoff." 

Notable 

Columbus scored on an overtime penalty shot for the first time in franchise history. ... The Blue Jackets had a 38-31 edge in shots on goal. ... The goal by Nash was the team's first shorthanded marker of the season. … Per NHL public relations, the Blue Jackets scored on their first two shots on goal for the sixth time in franchise history and first since March 4, 2016. … Columbus improved to 4-0-0 when scoring first this season and 9-3-0 in its last 12 games in Toronto. … Wennberg's goal gave the Blue Jackets' center two tallies this year, matching last year's total. … Columbus has now played seven straight one-goal games. ... The game marks just the second time in Blue Jackets history where the club scored a power-play goal, shorthanded goal and penalty shot goal in the same game, joining Dec. 17, 2005 vs. Nashville. ... Matthews has now 33 goals in 42 career October games. ... Toronto was 0-2 on the power play. 

Roster Report 

Forward Josh Anderson (upper body) returned after missing six games because of injury, replacing Jakob Lilja. On defense, Ryan Murray (upper body) returned to the lineup after missing one game, while Scott Harrington and Dean Kukan were the healthy scratches.

Up Next 

Columbus returns to Nationwide Arena on Thursday night to take on Metro Division foe Carolina for the second time this season. 

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