NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 8 (All times Eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (30-43-7) at Columbus Blue Jackets (39-35-5), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets had the longest win streak in franchise history snapped the last time out, but hope to get back on track Wednesday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Although they won't be appearing in the playoffs, the Blue Jackets have been one of the NHL's hottest teams over the last month.
Columbus had won nine straight before losing a road test to the New York Rangers on Monday, but the Blue Jackets still earned a point from the overtime loss and are 12-1-1 over the last 14 games. The club's last regulation was over three weeks ago when it dropped a 3-2 decision to Carolina on March 15.
The Blue Jackets held a 3-2 lead against the Rangers after Brandon Dubinsky tallied at 8:14 of the third period and Columbus entered the final minute of regulation holding onto that one-goal cushion. However, Derek Stepan scored with 27.5 seconds left in the third to tie the game and then tallied with 49.6 seconds remaining in OT to deliver the win for New York.
Matt Calvert and Marko Dano also scored for the Blue Jackets, while Sergei Bobrovsky took the loss despite making 38 saves. Dano has 12 points in last 12 games (4G, 8A).
"It makes it difficult. I don't know if it's because we won nine in a row or how we lost this game with a lead in New York. I'm not sure," noted Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards. "Whenever you lose, it's disappointing and you could tell it still means a lot to the guys in the room."
Columbus also saw its team-record eight-game road win streak come to an end. The Jackets have won four straight at home and begin a two-game stay at Nationwide Arena tonight. They will host Buffalo on Friday before capping the season with Saturday's road test against the New York Islanders.
The Maple Leafs snapped a two-game slide in their last game, posting a 3-2 shootout win over the visiting Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Peter Holland scored in the seventh round of the shootout to give the Toronto the victory and dampen Ottawa's playoff hopes.
After Jonathan Bernier had stopped Erik Karlsson to begin the seventh round, Holland flew down the ice and lifted a soft forehand past Andrew Hammond for the win.
"We stuck with it," said Leafs interim head coach Peter Horachek. "Guys got down to the shootout and it went long, which hasn't happened for a while. Big goal by Holly at the end."
Joffrey Lupul and James van Riemsdyk scored and Bernier turned aside 43 shots for the Maple Leafs, who are 4-1-1 over their last six trips to the ice, but will miss the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons.
Toronto is playing its final road test of the season tonight before completing the season with Saturday's home clash against rival Montreal.
Columbus will try to avoid getting swept by Toronto in the season series. The Maple Leafs are 2-0 versus the Blue Jackets in 2014-15, winning the two tests by a combined score of 9-3. Toronto also boasts a 4-1-1 all-time record at Nationwide Arena.
James Reimer will start in net for the Leafs and is 0-2-0 with a 4.37 goals against average in two lifetime starts versus Columbus. Bobrovsky will man the crease for the Jackets. He is 6-2-0 with a 2.01 GAA in eight outings against Toronto.
04/08 10:23:16 ET