Kent Johnson scored the winner in the third period as the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets downed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Saturday to split a back-to-back.
Boone Jenner and Kirill Marchenko, with a goal and an assist each, and Sean Kuraly provided the rest of the offence for Columbus (16-33-4), which got 27 saves from Elvis Merzlikins.
William Nylander, with a goal and an assist, Michael Bunting and Morgan Rielly replied for Toronto (32-14-8). Mitch Marner added two assists.
Joseph Woll made 36 stops for the Leafs in his first start of the season — and first home appearance of his NHL career.
Johnson put the Blue Jackets up for good six minutes into the third when he redirected Cole Sillinger’s shot past Woll for his 11th goal of the season. The goal was reviewed for a possible high stick, but the call on the ice was confirmed.
Toronto pulled Woll with less than three minutes remaining, but Columbus held on for just its second regulation victory in 11 games.
The Leafs led 2-0 through 20 minutes and appeared to be cruising to an easy victory before putting in perhaps their worst period of the season in a sleepy second.
Jenner got the visitors on the board at 4:21 when he snapped his 15th home from the slot off a broken play.
Leafs rookie Alex Steeves nearly scored his first NHL goal on a shot that hit the post, but Marchenko tied it 2-2 with 4:59 left in the period off a Jenner rebound with his 14th before picking up his first assist of the campaign on Kuraly’s go-ahead goal 57 seconds later as Columbus outshot Toronto 21-10 in the period.
The Leafs, who blanked the Blue Jackets 3-0 on Friday in Ohio, opened the scoring early in the first when Nylander ripped his 29th past Merzlikins’ glove.
Pierre Engvall then hit the post for Toronto before Bunting pinged his 16th in off the crossbar for that 2-0 lead.
Woll didn’t have a lot to do at the other end, but made a nice glove stop on Johnson late in the period.
The door opened for the 24-year-old Woll to play second fiddle to Ilya Samsonov after Matt Murray went down with an ankle injury before the NHL all-star break.
Woll might have been called up earlier in the season when both Murray and Samsonov were sidelined, but didn’t make his debut in the American Hockey League until late November as he worked his way back from shoulder surgery before also suffering an ankle injury while rehabbing.
The 62nd pick at the 2016 NHL draft has been near-perfect in the minors since getting back to full health.
Woll, who grew up in the St. Louis suburb of Dardenne Prairie, Mo., is 13-1-0 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.36 goals-against average with the Toronto Marlies. He was the top goalie in the recent AHL skill competition.