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Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets shut out Maple Leafs

by Craig Merz /

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets' 5-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday could have ended with an even wider margin.

Scoring three times in the first period and getting 35 saves from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky for his second shutout of the season and his 11th in the NHL, the Blue Jackets came close to putting more goals on the Nationwide Arena scoreboard.

Twice in the first period they had a chance cleared off the goal line, and later they had three shots hit the post.

"We got beat start to finish. That's the bottom line," Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf said. "It's not enjoyable when you get beat like that. It is embarrassing when you're beat 5-0 in another team's building."

The Blue Jackets (40-35-5) had their record nine-game winning streak end Monday with a shootout loss to the New York Rangers, but at 10-0-1 are within a game of the Columbus point-streak record of 12.

"It's a good feeling anytime you win in this League," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "Obviously we did a lot of good things to continue with the streak."

Toronto (30-44-7) lost its eighth straight road game.

The Blue Jackets got goals from all four lines. Artem Anisimov, Boone Jenner, Scott Hartnell, Ryan Murray and Jeremy Morin scored, and Brandon Dubinsky had two assists.

"That's been the key the last 10 games or so," Jenner said. "Everyone's chipping in, all our [defensemen], forwards, everyone."

The Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs have been eliminated from participating in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Columbus is finishing strong, especially at home where it has won five straight for an 18-20-2 record.

"We need to establish our game at home, make this a tough building to play in," Richards said. "For whatever reason, we didn't do that this season."

Columbus took a 3-0 first-period lead on goals 5:09 apart by Anisimov, Jenner and Hartnell.

On the first two goals, the Maple Leafs could not handle the Blue Jackets' muscle down low, and the third was a transition that caught Toronto out of position.

"[Columbus plays] hard every night," Toronto coach Peter Horachek said. "Our team wasn't prepared to start the game the same way they were.

"I know it's difficult to be in this situation knowing there's two games [left]. You don't want them to relax into the game, and that's how we did it. We relaxed into the game."

Anisimov scored his seventh at 13:51 off a drop pass in front by Dubinsky. Anisimov was falling when he shot from the high slot.

Jenner scored his seventh at 15:56 off a wrist shot after the Blue Jackets cycled the puck from one corner to the end before Ryan Johansen set up his linemate. Johansen's 44th assist gave him 70 points.

Hartnell's 27th, with one minute left, was on the rush, beginning with Marko Dano taking the puck deep in his end and having open space on the right wing. As Dano crossed the blue line, he fed the puck cross ice to Hartnell in the left circle.

"Obviously we don't want to lose a game like that," Toronto left wing David Booth said. "They came out strong and that was the difference, that first period.

"They capitalized on their chances. They played really well that first period and we didn't match it. The second and third we picked up our game but it was too late."

Murray, a second-year defenseman, scored his first in his 11th game of an injury-plagued season to make it 4-0 at 3:30 of the second period. He missed the previous nine games because of an ankle injury.

"That was the whole premise, to get back and get some momentum into the offseason," Murray said. "The rehab and missing all the games this year was definitely frustrating. This feels good tonight."

His power-play goal was off a pass from Dubinsky and sent Toronto goaltender James Reimer to the bench for Jonathan Bernier after making 16 saves.

"I'm disappointed the way it went but that's the way it goes sometimes," Reimer said. "You work hard and try to prepare to do your best but sometimes it's not good enough."

Bernier allowed Morin's straight-on shot from the blue line slip by him at 16:34 of the second. Morin has two goals. Bernier made 12 saves.

All that was left the shutout, and that was preserved when Booth hit the left post six minutes into the third period.

"[Bobrovsky] definitely earned that one," Murray said. "He faced some tough shots."

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