The atmosphere at Nationwide Arena was electric tonight – on both sides – even if the result wasn't great for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who fell 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.
John Tavares opened the scoring early for Toronto, but Nick Foligno answered – and the home crowd went absolutely nuts – just a couple of minutes later. That was the closest Columbus would get the rest of the night, though, as Tavares' second goal late in the period gave the lead back to Toronto, who would go on to add goals from Mitch Marner and Frederik Gauthier.
Artemi Panarin scored the 100th goal of his NHL career in the third to cut the deficit to two goals, but it wasn't enough, and the Blue Jackets fell 4-2.
This wasn't a case of an off-night for Columbus, even if they were outclassed for much of the night. Simply put, this is what it looks like when a team full of stars gets big performances from its key players – like Marner's three-point night or Tavares scoring two goals.
It would've been a surprise to see Columbus topple the Leafs tonight – despite being a very good team in their own right – but playing the second leg of a back-to-back against arguably the most talented team in the league is a tall mountain to climb.
With that, the Blue Jackets' five-game win streak is now history. They'll look to start a new one on Monday.
Anthony Duclair appeared to sustain some kind of shoulder or arm injury in the third period, but returned to the bench before the end of the game. That's worth keeping an eye on, though.
Columbus hosts Ottawa on New Year's Eve, then gets a four-day break before a Friday road game in Carolina.
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