Maple Leafs rally, defeat Blue Jackets in OT to win Game 4, extend series


Auston Matthews scored 13:10 into overtime to complete a three-goal comeback and give the Toronto Maple Leafs a season-saving 4-3 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Friday.

Toronto is the third team to win an NHL postseason game after trailing by three goals with less than four minutes remaining in the third period.

John Tavares set up Matthews, who scored on a one-timer 10 seconds after Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno was penalized for tripping.

Zach Hyman tied it 3-3 with 23 seconds left in the third period, after William Nylander and John Tavares scored 51 seconds apart to draw Toronto within 3-2 at 16:54 of the third. Hyman completed the comeback with Toronto’s third goal in 3:54 on a low shot. 

All three goals were scored with the same six Maple Leafs on the ice and goalie Frederik Andersen pulled for an extra attacker.

Andersen made 36 saves for Toronto, the No. 8 seed, which blew a 3-0 second-period lead in a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 3 on Thursday.

Cam Atkinson, Vladislav Gavrikov and Boone Jenner scored to give Columbus, the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference, the 3-0 lead.

Nylander’s goal at 16:03 made it 3-1 and ended Elvis Merzlikins‘ shutout streak at 105:38. The Blue Jackets rookie saved each of the 21 shots he faced Thursday after relieving Joonas Korpisalo at 8:48 of the second period in Game 3. He made 36 saves Friday before allowing a goal.

Tavares’ second goal of the series drew Toronto within 3-2 at 16:54.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, who scored the game-winning goal to complete the Blue Jackets’ first postseason hat trick Thursday, got his fourth point in two games to set up Columbus’ first first-period goal of the series at 3:58.

He passed around Maple Leafs defenseman Martin Marincin and across the goalmouth on a 2-on-1 with Atkinson, who got behind Justin Holl to score his second goal of the series to give Columbus a 1-0 lead.

Gavrikov put the Blue Jackets up 2-0 at 4:40 of the second. His slap shot from the left point deflected up off Mitchell Marner‘s stick and over Andersen’s glove into the top right corner.

Jenner made it 3-0 at 14:18.

Korpisalo began his postseason career with a 96-minute shutout streak in the first two games, including a shutout in his debut, a 2-0 win in Game 1.

The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in double overtime after trailing 3-1 with 3:16 remaining in the third period of Game 5 of the 2017 Western Conference Second Round, and the Oilers defeated the Dallas Stars 4-3 in overtime after trailing 3-1 with 4:00 left in the third period of Game 3 of the 1997 Western Conference Quarterfinals.

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