Post Game: Blue Jackets 2, Maple Leafs 1
BLUE JACKETS 2 | MAPLE LEAFS 1
AIR CANADA CENTRE
In order to slow down the high-flying Toronto Maple Leafs, a total team effort and commitment to all three zones is the first and foremost requirement. The Blue Jackets, starting a pivotal stretch in their schedule, got that tonight at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
FINAL: JACKETS 2 | MAPLE LEAFS 1
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- LISTEN: Artem Anisimov 2nd period goal
- LISTEN: Dalton Prout 2nd period goal
But it was the second period, a frame that's bitten the Jackets at times this season, that fueled them to two points tonight.
A long shift in the Toronto zone allowed the Jackets to out-change the Leafs, and Derek MacKenzie found the puck low in the zone and fed it up top to Dalton Prout at the right point. A wired slapper through traffic beat James Reimer far side and put the Jackets in front, but the second goal was equally impressive.
Nikita Nikitin walked the left point and sent a perfect shot-pass down low to Artem Anisimov, who buried his 16th of the season to make it 2-0 Columbus at 12:38 of the second period.
For the most part, the Blue Jackets managed the game efficiently and only gave the Leafs two power play chances - both coming in the first period. The one lowlight for Columbus was an injury to Ryan Murray in the first period; Richards updated post-game and said he doesn't believe the injury to be serious, but that Murray could miss some time.
The Anisimov tally proved to be the game-winner, but Prout's goal was an emphatic ending to a prolonged shift in the Toronto zone. MacKenzie and Letestu did the grunt work down low, and Prout's shot through a heavy screen in front gave Columbus a 1-0 edge and helped them settle into the game.
1. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
A solid night of work for Bob tonight, who had to be good early after a good start by the Leafs and also in the third period. He's got two wins in three games out of the Olympic break.
2. NIKITA NIKITIN (CBJ)
One of his best performances of the season without question. Nikitin played 21:32, took four shots on goal and was a +1 on a Jackets' blueline that played most of the game with five defensemen.
3. JAMES REIMER (TOR)
He was the only reason the Leafs weren't down by more than two entering the third period. Reimer finished with 31 saves and was under siege at times in the game.
VS. DALLAS STARS
TUESDAY, 7 P.M.