The good news is the Toronto Maple Leafs played a terrific game Friday night but the bad news is, they lost. In reverse to the previous meeting 4 days earlier when the Columbus Blue Jackets suffered the same fate after outplaying the Leafs most of the game in Toronto, returned the favour on home ice.
From the opening faceoff the energetic Leafs controlled the game dominating the Blue Jackets in key areas by out chancing, hitting, shots on goal and face offs but Frederik Anderson having a rare off night was slow to react to a Josh Anderson rebound he buried and got tangled up behind the net putting himself in no mans land on Anderson's second of the period that could also count as a little unfortunate luck and the Leafs were down a couple.
Toronto battled back on goals from Ron Hainsey and once again standout Kasperi Kapanen on a nifty move to get some open space.
Morgan Reilly also off his usually solid game got caught flat-footed a few times and a late second period Cam Atkinson short-handed marker took the life out of the Leafs. The determined Blue Jackets shut the Leafs down in the third not wanting a repeat of the previous encounter when they allowed the Toronto side to much room and cost them a win. An early third period Markus Hannikainen goal gave the home side some breathing room and they never looked back.
Frederik Gauthier had a couple on his stick he’d like back particularly a wide open net he missed in the third but continued his strong play as did Tyler Ennis whose playing with a lot of confidence. It looks like just a matter of time before some start going in for Ennis and that will be welcome news for Leafs.
Columbus received a standout performance in the net from Segei Bobrovsky who made 32-saves in a game the Blue Jackets struggled to find their footing. He was the difference in this contest.
Toronto lost two road games they should have at worst split, but no time to wonder what might have been with Flyers on tap Saturday at the Scotiabank Arena. If the Leafs can produce the same effort as the previous and back up goalie Garret Sparks can settle down in the net, Toronto stands a good chance to halt the mini two game slide, at home Saturday.