Blue Jackets' Offensive Troubles, Lack of Discipline Doom Them In a Game 2 Loss To the Maple Leafs

By Rob Mixer on August 4, 2020 at 6:47 pm

Joonas Korpisalo had himself a night in Game 1.

He might have been even better in Game 2, but the Blue Jackets didn't give him any run support. Against a team like the Maple Leafs that doesn't need much time to score, that's a dangerous recipe.

It stung the Blue Jackets and Toronto evened the best-of-five series, 1-1, with a 3-0 win on Tuesday afternoon at Scotiabank Arena.

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The Maple Leafs had a different approach, firing at will and generating chances off the rush – which the Blue Jackets did so well to defend in Game 1. 

Korpisalo could only do so much. And he did plenty.

The Maple Leafs peppered the Columbus net. With the pressure on, it was a matter of time before Toronto's stars broke out. 

Auston Matthews snapped Korpisalo's 96-minute shutout streak late in the second period, redirecting a centering pass between Korpisalo's arm and the blocker to get the Leafs on the board. It felt inevitable.

After an odd-man rush went astray for the Blue Jackets, Werenski whiffed on a shot and Seth Jones fell, allowing John Tavares (bad news!) to stride down the ice on a clear-cut breakaway. He made a quick fake and snapped a shot through Korpisalo's blocking arm to give Toronto a 2-0 lead. Dagger, early in the third period.

The Blue Jackets didn't help themselves, either. After committing only a single minor penalty in Game 1, Columbus was undisciplined right from the start today. One after the next, they paraded to the box and gave the Leafs a chance to get going – the exact opposite of what John Tortorella was hoping for. To the PK's credit, it held serve and went 4-for-4 through two periods. Columbus' first two shots of the game came while shorthanded, and both were odd-man rushes.

Despite a late-stages power play – and a long delay for a scary injury to Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin, who was taken off on a stretcher – the Blue Jackets couldn't break through Frederik Andersen.

It's a short series, and the Blue Jackets have two days to collect themselves before Game 3.

Game Notes

  • Columbus will enter Game 3 of a postseason series tied at one win each with an opponent for the third time in franchise history (2014 vs. Pittsburgh, 2019 vs. Boston).
  • The Jackets killed off all five Maple Leafs' power play attempts and are now 6-6 in the series.
  • The Blue Jackets' five penalties killed were the most in a road playoff game when killing 100% of penalties faced.
  • G Joonas Korpisalo allowed his first goal of the playoffs 16 minutes into the second period. He had his shutout streak snapped at 96:00 minutes as he stopped the first 55 shots he saw to begin the 2020 postseason. He is now 1–1 with a 1.02 goals-against average and a .970 save percentage in the 2020 playoffs.
  • Korpisalo's shutout streak was the third-longest in Blue jackets' playoff history, trailing only Sergei Bobrovsky's shutout streaks of 103:16 (2014) and 101:01 (2019).
  • C Riley Nash won a game-high 81.8 percent of his faceoffs (9-of-11) and finished tied for the Blue Jackets' lead in shots with three on 10:53 of ice time.
  • D Seth Jones (28:04 TOI) posted a game-high five blocked shots while D David Savard added four.
  • D Zach Werenski collected two shots, hits, and two blocked shots on a game-high 28:47 of ice time.

Injury Update

Dean Kukan briefly left the game in the first period after taking a high, hard hit from Toronto's Kyle Clifford. He eventually returned to the game.

Next Up

Game 3 between the Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs is set for Thursday, Aug. 6. Puck drop is 8 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Arena.

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