The Toronto Maple Leafs, which survived the fifth leg of the playoffs in the playoffs qualifier, once again hit their head on a familiar wall: Columbus' Finnish goalkeeper Joonas Korpisalo.
Columbus poured Toronto’s star cream on the night between Sunday and Monday 3-0 and marched into the first regular round of the NHL playoffs with a match win of 3–2.
Columbus got a glorious start to the match with a bit of luck as defender Zach Werenski's blunt wrist shot bounced through the Toronto defense after just over six minutes of play.
The Leafs had put together a wild number one chain, Mitch Marner – Auston Matthews – John Tavares, earning a total of $ 33.5 million a season.
Toronto managed to create a turmoil on the attacking head, but the obstacle was constantly Korpisalo, who returned to the goal after a game of one and a half bench.
Eventually, Columbus doubled his lead after the middle of the third set with a goal immersed by Liam Foudy from a small corner.
Toronto was still frantically chasing the narrowing, but Korpisalo, who played 33 fight zeroes, lasted, and Nick Foligno tinted the last staple into the empty goal.
Once again, Toronto, which had embarked on a season with wild expectations, fell to the tube for the fourth year in a row after the first series of playoff games. The previous victory in the playoff series of the Mighty Club is still from the spring of 2004.
Columbus, meanwhile, will face Tampa Bay in the first actual playoff round starting on Tuesday, which it surprised at the same time last year straight in four games.
1st playoff round (best of seven)
(1.) Philadelphia – Montreal (12.)
(2.) Tampa Bay – Columbus (9.)
(3.) Washington – NY Islanders (7.)
(4.) Boston – Carolina (6.)
(1.) Vegas – Chicago (12.)
(2.) Colorado-Arizona (11.)
(3.) Dallas-Calgary (8.)
(4.) St. Louis – Vancouver (9.)
(5.) Pittsburgh 1-3 Montreal (12.)
(6.) Carolina 3–0 NY Rangers (11.)
(7.) NY Islanders 3–1 Florida (10.)
(8.) Toronto 2-3 Columbus (9.)
Top four: Philadelphia 6p, Tampa Bay 4, Washington 3, Boston 0
(5.) Edmonton 1-3 Chicago (12.)
(6.) Nashville 1-3 Arizona (11.)
(7.) Vancouver 3–1 Minnesota (10.)
(8.) Calgary 3–1 Winnipeg (9.)
Top Four: Vegas 6p, Colorado 5, Dallas 2, St. Louis 1