The Toronto Maple Leafs were on the verge of not making the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday night. Then they delivered one of the greatest comebacks in hockey history to stay alive.
With four minutes left, the Columbus Blue Jackets had a commanding 3-0 lead on the Maple Leafs. Then Toronto got on the scoreboard with 3:57 left with a goal by William Nylander of Calgary, Alberta, from Zach Hyman of Toronto, Ontario, and Mitch Marner of Markham, Ontario.
Then only 51 seconds later, Canadian Olympic gold medalist John Tavares of Mississauga, Ontario pulled Toronto within one goal with a marker from Auston Matthews and Marner. Toronto then tied the game as Hyman scored from Matthews and Nylander with only 33 seconds remaining in the contest. In the overtime, it was Matthews who scored the game winning goal on the power play from Tavares and Marner to give Toronto an emotional 4-3 victory.
Remarkably this was the second straight game in the series that the team which was up 3-0 actually lost. On Thursday, Columbus was trailing 3-0, but came back to score four unanswered goals including a hat trick by Pierre-Luc Dubois of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec.
This is the only qualifying series that is going to a fifth and deciding game, as each team has won twice. The Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets will decide the series on Sunday evening from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.