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Stanley Cup Qualifiers Game Four Preview: Columbus overtime win pushes Toronto to the brink of elimination

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Here’s what you need to know.

NHL: Eastern Conference Qualifications-Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets
Friday, August 7, 2020 - 8:00 EST
Scotiabank Arena - Toronto, Ontario
TV: Fox Sports Ohio & NBCSN; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Toronto Maple Leafs (36-25-9, 81 points, 3rd Atlantic, 8th East)
@
Columbus Blue Jackets (33-22-15, 81 points, 6th Metro, 9th East)

Win and move on. That’s the recipe tonight.

After surrendering three goals, Columbus changed netminders, scored four unanswered goals (including the first ever post-season hat trick for the team courtesy of Pierre-Luc Dubois) and pushed Toronto to the brink of elimination.

A win of any kind moves Columbus into the round of 16. Less than 24 hours after being down 0-3 and on the ropes, the Jackets could be well on their way to the next round.

Survive and advance.

Playoff Series

08/02/20 Game 1: Columbus 2 @ Toronto 0
08/04/20 Game 2: Columbus 0 @ Toronto 3
08/06/20 Game 3: Toronto 3 @ Columbus 4 (OT)
08/07/20 Game 4: Toronto @ Columbus
08/09/20 Game 5: (if necessary) Columbus @ Toronto

Stats

Toronto Columbus
2.00 (16) GPG 2.00 (16)
2.00 (5) GAPG 2.00 (5)
12.5% (16) PP% 0.0% (20)
100.0% (1) PK% 87.5% (9)
52.35% (10) 5v5 Shot Attempt % 47.65% (15)
52.8% (9) 5v5 Unblocked shot attempt % 47.2% (15)
3.53 (22) 5v5 Shot % 6.17 (13)
.929 (10) 5v5 Save % .964 (4)
Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Morgan Rielly, William Nylander, Cody Ceci, Nicholas Robertson 1 G Leader Pierre-Luc Dubois, 3
A Leader Cam Atkinson, 3
Auston Matthews, Alexander Kerfoot 3 P Leader Cam Atkinson, 4
Kasperi Kapanen, 14 PIM Leader Nick Foligno, Vladislav Gavrikov, Boone Jenner 4
1-2 Home/Away 2-1
1-2 Last 10 2-1

Projected Lineups

I’ll be totally honest - I have no idea what to do here. Alexander Wennberg’s line with Emil Bemstrom and Eric Robinson barely played after the second period. To wit:

Were I a gambling man, I’d guess Kevin Stenlund and Nathan Gerbe go in for Emil Bemstrom (underwhelming thus far this series) and Alexander Wennberg (generally bad, demoted, didn’t play late). I would also expect Elvis Merzlikins to start after making 21 saves on 21 shots last night, but who knows.

Would I be shocked if nothing changed? Not at all, this is John Tortorella we are talking about. But could everything change? Sure.

We’ll find out at 8:00 tonight.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Alexandre Texier Pierre-Luc Dubois Cam Atkinson
Gustav Nyquist Alexander Wennberg Oliver Bjorkstrand
Nick Foligno Boone Jenner Liam Foudy
Eric Robinson Riley Nash Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Joonas Korpisalo
Elvis Merzlikins
Toronto Maple Leafs
Zach Hyman Auston Matthews Mitch Marner
William Nylander John Tavares Ilya Mikheyev
Nick Robertson Alexaner Kerfoot Kasperi Kapanen
Kyle Clifford Pierre Engvall Jason Spezza
Travis Dermott Justin Holl
Morgan Rielly Cody Ceci
Martin Marincin Tyson Barrie
Frederik Andersen
Jack Campbell