TORONTO (AP) Kent Johnson scored his second goal of the game at 3:26 of overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 6-5 victory over Toronto on Thursday night after the Maple Leafs overcame a five-goal deficit in the third period.

Patrik Laine, Justin Danforth, Yegor Chinakhov and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for Columbus and Elvis Merzlikins made 43 saves.

“I’m going to go through my emotions,” Blue Jackets coach Pascal Vincent said. “I’m going to watch it, I don’t want to talk about ... going into the details. We’re learning that third period thing. Found a way to win the game. Came here to get two points, we got two points.”

Auston Matthews scored Toronto's final two goals to break a tie for the NHL lead with 23. William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Jake McCabe also scored and Ilya Samsonov stopped 29 shots to help Toronto run its points streak to eight at 5-0-3.

“We’ve been a resilient group all season, it’s a credit to the guys,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. ” (We wanted to) give our fans something to feel good about in the third period, give ourselves something to be proud of (with) what we put forth in the third period.”

Nylander started Toronto's comeback at 38 seconds of the third, scoring his 14th on a one-timer from Matthews. Marner scored a pretty goal at 3:49, taking a pass from John Tavares, putting the puck between his legs and beating Merzlikins between the legs for his 12th,

McCabe made it a two-goal game on a power play with 5:39 remaining, firing in a slap shot from the point for his his first of the season.

Matthews scored on a one-timer from Nylander that trickled in with 1:15 remaining, then netted another with 44.4 seconds left on a one-timer from Nylander. Johnson wired home a wrist shot in the extra period.

“We’ve got to be ready to play,” Matthews said. “Just a lot of the detail stuff wasn’t in the first (period). The second wasn’t maybe as bad as the score portrayed but all of their chances went in and none of ours did.”

Laine opened the scoring for Columbus 6:19 into the first period. Johnson sent in a backhand pass from behind the goal after Max Domi's giveaway, and Laine beat Samsonov to the glove side. Johnson doubled the lead with 8:04 left in the first and Danforth hopped in on the action 8:16 into the second period. Chinakhov made it a 4-0 with 9:15 left in the second, and Gaudreau connected with 5:41 remaining in the period.

Toronto forward Ryan Reaves was down for a bit as play was halted just before the midway mark of the opening period. He left the ice with some assistance favoring his left leg and was ruled out because of a lower-body injury.

Reaves tried to corral a puck by the boards in Columbus’ zone and seemed to have lost his balance. His knees hit the boards first, with his left one seemingly taking the brunt of the collision.


Blue Jackets: Host New Jersey on Saturday night.

Maple Leafs: Host Pittsburgh on Saturday night.



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