COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Blue Jackets squandered a three-goal lead and lost 4-3 to Toronto in overtime in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Playoffs qualifying round.
Auston Matthews scored the game-winning goal in overtime 10 seconds into a power play, which happened after Nick Foligno hit Toronto’s Morgan Rielly from behind 13 minutes into extra time.
Elvis Merzlikins made his first playoff start and saved 36 shots without allowing a goal, but the Leafs scored three times on their next three shots, including a goal with 23 seconds left in the game to force overtime.
Toronto’s first two goals came less than a minute apart late in the third period, which opened the door for the Leafs to erase Columbus’ 3-0 lead. Zach Hyman scored the equalizer while John Tavares and Williams Nylander scored the first two goals for the Leafs.
Merzlikins ended the game with 49 saves on 53 shots.
Game 5 will be played Sunday at 8 p.m.
Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson continued CBJ’s momentum from their Game 3 overtime win by teaming up for a goal less than four minutes into Game 4.
Luc Dubois, who scored three goals in Game 3, got his first assist of the series when he found a wide-open Atkinson in a two-on-one situation with the Jackets’ veteran burying the puck in the back of the net for his fifth point of the series.
The assist was Dubois’ fourth point of the series and an assist also went to Merzlikins for getting the puck to Luc Dubois. The goal was CBJ’s first, 1st period goal of the series.
CBJ once again scored less than four minutes into the next period when David Savard found Vladislav Gavrikov for his first career playoff goal goal, which gave Columbus a 2-0 lead.
Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno sealed the win for CBJ when the Jackets’ captain came up with a steal followed by an assist to Jenner for the Jackets’ seventh-straight goal of the series.