Blue Jackets Suffer Total Meltdown, Fall 4-3 to Maple Leafs

By Jacob Nitzberg on August 7, 2020 at 11:12 pm
ug 7, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) makes a glove save as Toronto Maple Leafs forward John Tavares (91) looks on during the second period of game four of the Eastern Conference qualifications at Scotiabank Arena.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Hockey is a fickle sport.

One night, you're coming back from a 3-0 deficit. The next night, you blow a 3-0 lead of your own.

  1 2 3 OT
BLUE JACKETS 1 1 1 0 3
MAPLE LEAFS 0 0 3 1 4

In the first period, the Blue Jackets looked ready for the opportunity. Four minutes in, Pierre-Luc Dubois, who has had an amazing postseason so far, led a 2-on-1 break with speed into the Maple Leafs' zone. He found a streaking Cam Atkinson, who made no mistake and gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead.

The first period would end with the Blue Jackets leading, 1-0. Shots on goal were 15-13, Toronto. 

Then, all hell broke loose in the second 20 minutes. First, Gavrikov added his first career playoff goal on an absolute snipe to put the good guys up, 2-0. 

After Gavrikov's goal, things started to get chippy. In fact, things got so chippy that Dean Kukan (!) fought Jason Spezza. He did quite well for himself, too.

It was clear that the Blue Jackets were in the Maple Leafs' heads. Despite a late push and power play opportunity for Toronto, the second period ended 2-0, in favor of the boys in blue. 

The third period saw scoring from both sides. With just under six minutes remaining, Jenner notched his first goal of the series to make it 3-0 and put the game away...or so we thought.

Then, with an extra attacker, William Nylander made it 3-1 at 16:03 of the third.

Then, 51 seconds later, John Tavares made it 3-2.

Then, with 22 seconds remaining, Zach Hyman tied the game.

Talk about a gut punch, and there was one more blow to come. In overtime, Nick Foligno went to the box for tripping. Auston Matthews converted on the ensuing power play, and that was that.

Injury Update 

Zach Werenski left the game midway through the third period and did not return.

Next Up

It'll be win or go home in Game 5 against the Maple Leafs on Sunday. Game time is still TBD.

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