Home Winning Streak On The Line
BLUE JACKETS (30-25-5) AT MAPLE LEAFS (32-22-8)
TV: FS-O, SNET-O
Last 10: Columbus 4-5-1; Toronto 5-2-3
Season series: This is the third and final game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs. Columbus won both previous matchups, outscoring the Maple Leafs 11-2.
Big story: The Maple Leafs, 21-10-1 at home, have won their past seven games at Air Canada Centre. The Blue Jackets have lost four of five games on the road and look to move up in the Eastern Conference wild-card standings with a win.
Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets are in a stretch where they play 17 games in 31 days and are looking for some consistency. Their two games after the Olympic break have been vastly different. A 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, when they allowed a short-handed goal and were scoreless on the power play, was followed by a 6-3 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday in which they killed off all four penalties and converted on three of four power-play chances.
"I think where our special teams let us down in New Jersey, it was a catalyst [Saturday]," center Mark Letestu said. "Anytime you score three power play goals, you give yourself a chance to win … great night for the special teams."
The six goals were more than the Blue Jackets had scored in their previous three games (five). Despite the big game, forward Brandon Dubinsky said Columbus still has work to do.
"There's still room for improvement. This group can't be satisfied," Dubinsky said. "We’ve got to continue pushing, continue trying to get better."
Maple Leafs: Toronto's 4-3 loss Saturday to the Montreal Canadiens was its second straight overtime defeat after holding a third-period lead.
"We’re .500 on the road which, in this situation, isn’t great," coach Randy Carlyle said after the game. "We'd like to have won both hockey games in our minds, but this is the way it goes. We will regroup, practice [Sunday] and get ready for Columbus."
The Maple Leafs are still within striking distance of the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins, but lost their eighth game after regulation Saturday.
"It’s disappointing to leave the point, but we did lots of good things," Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said.
Who's hot: Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson has four assists in three games. … Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk has two goals and five assists in five games.
Injury report: Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll (ankle) and defenseman Fedor Tyutin (ankle) are on injured reserve. Forward Blake Comeau (knee) did not play Saturday. … Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland (ankle) is on IR. Colton Orr (undisclosed) did not play Saturday.