The Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers with a score of 4-3. The Blue Jackets lead the series 2-1 in this best-of-five series. Both teams played at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario. Here’s a recap of game one between the Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs.
Toronto wanted to keep building on the momentum from Game 2 and they certainly did so. Even though it was still a close battle, the Maple Leafs outshot the Blue Jackets 9-6 during this period. The Maple Leafs were also the more efficient team on both ends of the ice. Also, Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci scored the game’s first goal while being short handed.
Toronto went into the second period with a 1-0 lead.
The Maple Leafs were in full control early in the period as they scored two goals. Maple Leafs forward William Nylander scored on their first power play of the game. And, Maple Leafs forward Nicholas Robertson scored his first NHL goal to extend the lead to three. However, Blue Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois would come back and score a goal almost three minutes after Robertson’s goal.
Toronto went into the third period with a 3-1 lead.
The Blue Jackets took control for most of this period scoring two goals from Dubois and defenseman Seth Jones to tie the game. They also became the more efficient team during this period more so on the defensive end that led to offense. However, the Maple Leafs didn’t back down and made a late rally to take the lead but weren’t able to get a goal before the end of regulation time.
Both teams were headed to overtime with a score of 3-3.
This is the first overtime period in this series and it didn’t disappoint. Momentum was swinging left to right but the Blue Jackets got the winning goal. Dubois scored the game winning goal on a backhand shot completing the hat trick. He’s the first Blue Jackets player to post a postseason hat trick.
Columbus won the game 4-3 and took the series lead 2-1.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Cody Ceci (1 goal)
Second Star: Seth Jones (1 goal)
First Star: Pierre-Luc Dubois (3 goals)
This was probably the most entertaining game this series. However, it seemed like the Blue Jackets were destined to win this game since they outshot the Maple Leafs 43-36. The deciding factor of this series is which team makes the most mistakes in the game. Both teams are doing whatever they can to get goals as they try to one up one another.
Toronto now faces elimination in Game 4. Should the Blue Jackets win Game 4, they could be the first team to pull off an upset. The Blue Jackets are the No. 9 seed and the Maple Leafs are the No. 8 seed. There are three other series matchups with potential upsets as well. (Penguins-Canadiens, Coyotes-Predators and Blackhawks-Oilers). All three of these games play on Aug. 7 as well.