John Tavares scored twice and Ilya Samsonov stopped 30 shots for his third shutout of the season, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 on Friday night to snap a three-game road losing streak.
Pierre Engvall also scored and Mitch Marner added two assists for Toronto, which remains in second place in the Atlantic Division with 72 points – 11 points behind first-place Boston.
“I thought we played a pretty solid and patient game,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We didn’t give up a lot and extended our lead in the third period, which is what you want to do.”
Joonas Korpisalo had 41 saves for Columbus, which has lost four straight and remains last in the NHL standings.
Tavares put Toronto up at 5:45 of the first period with his team-lead-tying 10th power-play goal of the season, slipped between Korpisalo’s pads.
“We did some good things, got involved,” Tavares said. “I think after the first period we controlled the neutral zone.”
Korpisalo kept Columbus in the game through two periods, stopping 27 shots, before Toronto took charge in the third period, burying goals 48 seconds apart from Engvall and Tavares for a 3-0 lead at 8:38.
“[We] were a shot away for a long time,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “We actually had a couple of decent looks there at the end of the second and early in the third, and then they get those two quick ones on us.”
The Blue Jackets recalled D Tim Berni from Cleveland of the AHL. ... The Maple Leafs recalled F Pontus Holmberg, F Alex Steeves and G Joseph Woll from Toronto of the AHL after putting G Matt Murray on injured reserve.
The Maple Leafs have earned at least one point in seven consecutive games against Columbus (5-0-2).
Hurry up and wait
Lane Pederson, claimed off waivers from Vancouver before the All-Star break, remained on the sidelines as he does not yet have the proper documentation to join the Blue Jackets on the ice.
Marner’s assists extended his point streak to five games and Morgan Rielly’s assist on Engvall’s goal extended his point streak to three games.
Maple Leafs: Host Columbus on Saturday night to finish the home-and home.
Blue Jackets: At Toronto on Saturday night.