By Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press on December 29, 2023.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Johnny Gaudreau scored 2:56 into overtime, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 on Friday.
Gaudreau tapped a rebound past Toronto goalie Ilya Samsonov, stopping a three-game slide for Columbus. Gaudreau’s seventh goal of the season provided the Blue Jackets’ only lead of the night.
Columbus rookie Adam Fantilli tied it at 5 with 6:14 left in regulation. It was the 10th goal of the season for the 19-year-old forward.
Cole Sillinger, Brendan Gaunce, Dmitri Voronkov and Kent Johnson also scored for Columbus.
Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins stopped 14 of 16 shots before leaving after the first period because of an illness. Spencer Martin had 16 stops the rest of the way.
Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 29th goal and had an assist for Toronto. Samsonov made 15 stops, but he has allowed 21 goals in losing his last four starts.
Mitch Marner and William Nylander each had a goal and an assist for Toronto, and Nicholas Robertson and John Tavares also scored. Morgan Reilly had three assists.
Matthews has 15 goals in 11 December games.
Maple Leafs: Host Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
Blue Jackets: At Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.