The Toronto Maple Leafs made a big statement in their last contest and look to build off that performance when they host the hard-working Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday. The Maple Leafs, who are without captain John Tavares (broken finger), grinded out a 4-3 overtime victory over Atlantic Division-rival Boston on Saturday despite allowing 46 shots and coughing up two leads.
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"Yeah, it's big," Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly told reporters after scoring the winning goal on Saturday. "A team within the division, not having (Tavares). Kind of a point in our year where we want to get going, and I think we answered the bell. Not as clean as we wanted, but we got it done." The Maple Leafs have won three of their last four overall and four of the last five meetings with the Blue Jackets, who have earned points in four consecutive games (2-0-2) after suffering a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders at home on Saturday. Columbus coach John Tortorella told reporters his team has worked very hard all season long, despite the loss of leading scorer Artemi Panarin and two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky to free agency, and is in the midst of six straight games decided by one goal - three in overtime. "We have to start finishing," Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones told reporters. "Moral victories, so to speak, with just creating chances and losing tight games isn't going to cut it, it isn't going to get you into the playoffs. So we have to start bearing down here on some of these chances, and it will come."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Columbus), Sportsnet (Toronto)
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (3-3-2): Cam Atkinson, who scored a career-high 41 goals last season, has recorded two in the first seven games but registered seven shots in Saturday's loss and has unleashed a team-high 36 this campaign. Jones and Boone Jenner each scored their first goal of the season last time out while Pierre-Luc Dubois leads the team with three tallies - all in his last five contests. Dean Kukan made his second appearance of the season Saturday in place of fellow defenseman Ryan Murray (two assists), who is questionable for Monday due to an upper-body injury.
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (5-3-1): Coach Mike Babcock will tinker with his forward lines with Tavares out and had Auston Matthews (nine points) alongside Mitch Marner (11) at times in Saturday's victory, with the duo combining for three assists. "I'm tempted to have the best lineup we can, and if that's them together, then I'd do that," Babcock told reporters. "I don't know what's going to happen. I can't predict that." Andreas Johnsson (five points) suffered a leg injury while blocking a shot in Saturday's game, but Babcock said afterward that X-rays were negative and he should "be fine."
1. Maple Leafs G Frederik Andersen has won three straight decisions and is 6-2-2 with a .921 save percentage versus Columbus in his career.
2. Blue Jackets LW Markus Hannikainen, who has yet to play this season, was assigned to Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Saturday.
3. Toronto entered Sunday seventh in the league on the power play (7-for-26) while Columbus was 24th (3-for-23).
News Breaking News
Toronto Maple Leafs
- TeethOut indefinitely | out
Kerfoot is recovering from surgery to repair facial dental fractures. There is no timetable for return.
- ShoulderOut Sat | out
Moore left the previous game due to a shoulder injury, and he will not play against the Penguins on Saturday.
- AnkleEarly Dec | I-R
Marner is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks while on the injured reserve list due to a right high-ankle sprain.
- KneeProb Wed | probable
Hyman has been activated from the injured reserve list after healing from a torn ACL, and he is likely to make his season debut Wednesday against the Islanders.
- PersonalProb Tues | probable
Muzzin is away from the team dealing with a personal matter, but it is likely that he will be in Tuesday's lineup against the Kings.
- FingerProb Tues | probable
Tavares is recovering from a broken finger, but it is expected that he will make his return against the Kings on Tuesday.
Columbus Blue Jackets
- ObliqueMid Dec | I-R
Sherwood has landed on injured reserve and is expected to miss four to six weeks due to a torn oblique.
- Upper BodyQues Tues | I-R
Nutivaara has been placed on the injured reserve list with an upper-body injury, and it is uncertain if he will be activated in time for Tuesday's matchup with the Canadiens.
- KneeQues Tues | questionable
Murray missed the last game with a knee contusion, and his status is undetermined for Tuesday's tilt against the Canadiens.
- SuspensionElig Thurs | out
Foligno has been handed a three-game suspension by the NHL for elbowing an unsuspecting opponent. He is likely to be reinstated in time for Thursday's battle versus the Red Wings.
- HandProb Tues | probable
Murray has been activated from the injured reserve list after a broken hand. He is projected to lace up against the Canadiens on Tuesday.
- KneeProb Thurs | probable
Texier has been activated from the injured reserve list after healing from a knee injury, and he is likely to return Thursday against the Coyotes.