What a difference 24 hours make. Just one day after Columbus came back from a 3-0 lead to beat Toronto in overtime, the Leafs flipped the script and did the same.
Down 2-1 in the series, it was win or go home for Toronto. The Maple Leafs were able to stave off elimination while completing an epic comeback in the process.
With 5:42 left in the third period, Boone Jenner netted one behind Frederik Andersen to give the Blue Jackets a 3-0 lead. It seemed it was all but over for the Maple Leafs’ season.
All of a sudden, the Leafs caught fire.
With 3:57 left, William Nylander jammed one past Elvis Merzlikins and Toronto had some hope. Just 51 seconds later, Matthews fed the puck to Tavares in the slot, who ripped it into the top left corner to cut the deficit to 3-2. With time winding down and their season on the line, the Leafs pulled Andersen to get an extra attacker on the ice. With 23 seconds left, the comeback was complete. Zach Hyman was able to put one past a screened Merzlikins to tie the game and send it to overtime.
As soon as the puck dropped in overtime, the Leafs dominated. Matthews flew in on the left wing on the very first play of the period and ripped a shot at the net, narrowly missing. With seven minutes remaining in the period, Jackets’ captain Nick Foligno took a tripping penalty on Morgan Rielly, allowing the Leafs powerplay to go to work.
Not even ten seconds into the powerplay, Matthews buried a one-timer off a sweet feed from John Tavares.
Nick Foligno was visibly upset with the tripping penalty, as he immediately started yelling at the referees while leaving the penalty box.
The Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs face off in a winner-take-all Game 5 on Sunday. The time is TBD,