Blue Jackets shut out Maple Leafs in Game 1 of Cup Qualifiers


Joonas Korpisalo made 28 saves for the shutout in his first NHL postseason game when the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Sunday.

The shutout was the first in the postseason for the Blue Jackets, who entered the NHL in 2000-01 and have played 32 postseason games.

Frederik Andersen made 34 saves for the Maple Leafs, who were shut out once in 70 games during the regular season and ranked third in the League in goals per game (3.39).

Game 2 of the best-of-5 series is in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, on Tuesday (4 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, NBCSN, NHL.TV, FS-O). The series winner advances to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The loser will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery, to be held Aug. 10.

There hasn’t been a best-of-5 series in the NHL since 1986. The League used them for the preliminary round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs from 1980-86, and the team that won Game 1 went on to win the series 87.5 percent of the time (49 of 56).

Cam Atkinson scored at 1:05 of the third period to give Columbus a 1-0 lead with a wrist shot from the right side under Andersen’s blocker.

Alexander Wennberg made it 2-0 when he scored into an empty net with 19 seconds remaining in the first postseason meeting between the Blue Jackets, the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Maple Leafs, the No. 8 seed.

Korpisalo kept the game scoreless with a left glove save on Auston Matthews‘ one-timer from the slot at 16:16 of the second period on William Nylander‘s centering pass from behind the net.

Maple Leafs forward Nicholas Robertson became the first 18-year-old to make his NHL debut in a postseason game since Jarome Iginla (18 years, 295 days) for the Calgary Flames on April 21, 1996 (Game 3, Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Blackhawks). Robertson, who led the Ontario Hockey League in goals this season (55), had a scoring chance on his first shift, but Korpisalo made a right pad save on his shot at 2:05 of the first.

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