Full 60: Down but not out, Jackets storm back to shock Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs Fanatics Branded Breakaway Player Jersey

Auston Matthews Fanatics Branded Breakaway Player Jersey

It was their Toronto Maple Leafs turn to be the hunters.

Since coming back from Christmas break, the Blue Jackets have found themselves coughing up leads in too many NHL jerseys games – struggling to protect margins as opposing teams apply a lot of pressure seeking to climb back into games.

Monday at Air Canada Centre, that was them.

Columbus fell behind 2-0 in the second period, on goals by James van Riemsdyk and , and appeared to be headed for their third shutout loss in five games.

The hunters, however, made sure that didn’t happen in a 3-2 overtime victory.

A goal by , off a shot by late in the third, changed the complexion of a game the Maple Leafs were controlling at that point. The Blue Jackets tied it, won in OT on a goal by and swept a back-to-back set for the third time this season.

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“We are very happy,” Panarin said, through an interpreter. “I think it’s a big plus for the future of our team. The team knows now that we could be losing like that, but there is still a chance for a comeback, and it doesn’t matter how much time is left in the game. We are very happy we were able to do so. It’s nice to go into a day off with a positive mindset and emotions.”

Dermott, 21, recorded one assist in two games with the Maple Leafs after being recalled from the Marlies on January 5. The Newmarket, Ontario native has previously recorded 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in 26 games with the Marlies this season and was named to the North Division roster for the 2018 All-Star Classic last week. In 85 career AHL games, all with Toronto, he has registered seven goals and 34 assists for 41 points. Dermott was originally selected by the Maple Leafs in the second round (34th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft.

Leafs head coach employed some new defensive pairings, and the duo of rookie Travis Dermott and veteran Connor Carrick performed exceedingly well together. Carrick made the most of his increase in ice time by continuing Toronto’s scoring roll, putting a puck through traffic from the point and past Anderson for his third goal of the year and a 4-3 Leafs lead at 8:58 of the third.

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All-in-all, the Leafs got three goals in a 6:05 span of the third to reestablish a lead, and that type of offensive push was exactly what the Blue & White needed.

Andersen holds fort, preserves victory as Buds snap losing streak, head home for showdown with white-hot Avs. The Leafs outshot the Senators in all three periods, including 9-6 in the third period (and 33-18 overall), but Toronto had to withstand a late Ottawa push (including a 6-on-5 man advantage for the last 1:36 after the Sens pulled Anderson for the extra attacker). Fortunately, Andersen was solid between the pipes and helped the Leafs lock up the win, ending their losing streak and giving them confidence as they head home to face off against the white-hot Colorado Avalanche Monday.

The Avs beat the Leafs 4-3 in overtime during their Dec. 29 showdown, so Toronto will have lots of motivation to avenge the defeat. However, Colorado has won nine straight games – and has never trailed for a single second in that span – so the Buds will have to put forth a nearly-ideal effort to derail the Avalanche’s win streak and build a win streak of their own .

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