Leafs down Blue Jackets 4-2 for fourth straight win
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Patrick Marleau (12) vies for the puck with Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Seth Jones (3) during first period NHL action in Toronto on Monday, November 19 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, November 19, 2018 9:52PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 19, 2018 10:46PM EST
TORONTO -- Zach Hyman scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period as the Toronto Maple Leafs stretched their winning streak to four games with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.
The winger's second goal of the season came with 4:22 left in regulation on a redirection of Morgan Rielly's point shot after the Leafs won an offensive zone faceoff. Hyman then added an empty netter with 61 seconds left on the clock.
John Tavares, with a goal and an assist, and Tyler Ennis also scored for Toronto (15-6-0). Frederik Andersen made 37 saves. Mitch Marner and Ron Hainsey each had two assists.
The Leafs were coming off a three-game California sweep that improved their record away from home to a league-leading 9-1-0 and Monday's win nudged them above .500 at Scotiabank Arena on the season to 6-5-0 after a sloppy, uninspired start to the night.
Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois each had a goal and an assist for Columbus (12-7-2), while Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 stops.
Atkinson stayed hot following a five-goal, three-assist outburst that earned him the NHL's First Star honours for last week, but it wasn't enough as the Blue Jackets lost in regulation for the first time in eight (5-1-2).
Toronto came in with the league's third-best record, while Columbus was one spot back in fourth.
Tied 2-2 through 40 minutes, Marner had a backhand chance for the Leafs from the slot with just over eight minutes to go after Tavares hit the side of the net.
Andersen made a big save at the other end moments later on a scramble in his crease before Hyman redirected Rielly's shot past Bobrovsky.
Columbus pulled Bobrovsky with 1:45 remaining on the clock,
Down 2-0 after the first, Toronto got on the board with 6:59 left in the second when Ennis used a couple of spin moves to give himself some room before sliding his third through Bobrovsky's five-hole from a tough angle.
Andersen then stopped Josh Anderson's move to the backhand on a breakaway to keep the Leafs down by one before Marner went to work on the equalizer.
The slick winger, who entered play fourth in league scoring with six goals and 20 assists, stepped past Columbus defenceman Scott Harrington before deftly tapping his own rebound back in front of Bobrovsky's net for Tavares to score his 13th.
Marner now has one goal and seven assists during a five-game point streak.
Despite coming out flat following victories over the Los Angeles Kings (5-1), San Jose Sharks (5-3) and Anaheim Ducks (2-1 in overtime) last week, Toronto could have easily found themselves up 2-0 early on Monday.
Ennis hit the post on a 2-on-1 break under three minutes in before Connor Brown somehow chipped a puck off the iron from the lip of the crease with a down-and-out Bobrovsky at his mercy.
Columbus carried much of the play otherwise and were finally rewarded when Atkinson gave his team the lead with 5:21 remaining in the first after some sloppy play from Rielly and Hainsey.
Dubois knocked down Hainsey's clearing attempt and fed Atkinson, who beat Andersen between the pads for his 13th goal of the campaign and seventh in the last five outings.
Columbus went up 2-0 with 47.5 seconds left in the period on another Leafs defensive miscue -- Nikita Zaitsev and Jake Gardiner were the culprits this time around -- as Dubois cleaned up in front after Atkinson lost the puck on an attempted move between the legs for his 10th.
With the victory, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock passed Red Kelly and Pat Burns to sit alone in fifth in franchise history with 133 regular-season coaching wins. Punch Imlach leads with 370 followed by Pat Quinn (300), Hap Day (259) and Dick Irvin (215).
Notes: There were no penalties called in the game. ... Bobrovsky had allowed just one goal in each of his last four starts prior to Monday. ... Leafs centre Auston Matthews practised with his teammates Sunday for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury Oct. 27. The 21-year-old wore a red non-contact jersey for that session and was also out for Monday's optional morning skate. ... Atkinson scored the fifth hat trick of his career in Saturday's 4-1 road victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. ... The Leafs visit Carolina on Wednesday before a rematch with the Blue Jackets in Columbus on Friday.