The Blue Jackets were ready for this one. They executed their game plan, Joonas Korpisalo stood tall with a 28 save shutout, and they defeated the Maple Leafs tonight, 2-0. With the victory, the Blue Jackets have taken a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
In the first period, the two teams traded chances but neither was able to find the back of the net. Strong saves from Korpisalo and Frederik Andersen kept the score tied after the initial 20 minutes. Shots on goal in the period favored the Maple Leafs, 11-8.
The second period saw the Blue Jackets somewhat find their footing, but they also had to rely on Korpisalo to make some excellent saves, like this one on Auston Matthews:
Seth Jones hit the crossbar, and Eric Robinson and Oliver Bjorkstrand each had good looks on net. However, the score would remain 0-0 after 40 minutes. The Blue Jackets outshot Toronto 14-8 in the middle frame.
The third period began with a bang. Just 1:05 into the final 20 minutes, Cam Atkinson found the back of the net with a wrist shot, beating Andersen and giving the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. The nifty finish gave him the franchise all-time lead in playoff goals with eight.
Cam gets the party started and he is PUMPED. pic.twitter.com/TdISUgfiw2— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) August 3, 2020
Seth Jones and David Savard notched assists on Atkinson's goal. Then, at 4:24, Atkinson drew a tripping penalty. The Blue Jackets generated several opportunities on the ensuing power play, but they were unable to capitalize.
For the rest of the period, the Blue Jackets continued to drive the play. Jones and Zach Werenski were phenomenal down the stretch, using their physicality and positioning to thwart Maple Leaf rushes. Alexander Wennberg added an empy-netter to seal the game with under 20 seconds left.
Armed with a 1-0 lead, the Blue Jackets will take on the Leafs in Game 2 on Tuesday. Puck drop is slated for 4:00 eastern time.