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Auston Matthews scores twice as Leafs nip Jackets

Sportsnaut
Dec 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) follows a rebound during warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 7, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) follows a rebound during warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Auston Matthews had two goals and an assist, Morgan Rielly matched his career best with four assists and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Matthews has scored in seven straight games (10 goals) for the second time in his career.

William Nylander added a goal and an assist while Nick Ritchie and John Tavares each scored once for the Maple Leafs, who had lost their two previous games.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice for Columbus and Sean Kuraly and Max Domi each scored once.

Jack Campbell stopped 28 shots for Toronto.

Elvis Merzlikins made 24 saves for Columbus before being replaced by Daniil Tarasov, who made 10 saves in the third period.

Toronto led 3-0 after one period and had an 18-9 advantage in shots on goal.

Nylander scored his 11th goal of the season on a power play at 4:43. Matthews set him up for a shot from the right circle.

Matthews scored his 16th of the season, nudging in a no-look, between-the-legs pass from Michael Bunting at the edge of the crease at 15:08. Bunting had just finished serving a slashing penalty.

Ritchie was alone in the low slot when he converted a pass from behind the goal line by Ondrej Kase at 16:30 for his first goal of the season.

Bjorkstrand scored on a power play, ramming home Boone Jenner’s rebound at 11:39 of the second period. Campbell had foiled Bjorkstrand 17 seconds before the goal with a superb save on a rebound.

Tavares tipped in Rielly’s shot for his 12th goal at 18:34 of the second during a power play. Matthews scored his 17th of the season seven seconds later to make it 5-1.

Bjorkstrand scored his eighth goal this season on a deflection 33 seconds into the third period to ignite a late rally by the visitors. Kuraly scored his fifth goal from the slot at 16:25 of the third and Domi scored at 19:59 with the goaltender removed for an extra attacker.

Toronto was without Mitchell Marner (shoulder), Rasmus Sandin (knee), Travis Dermott (shoulder) and Jason Spezza (suspension).

–Field Level Media