Prout, Anisimov lead Blue Jackets past Leafs 2-1; Toronto loses third straight | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Prout, Anisimov lead Blue Jackets past Leafs 2-1; Toronto loses third straight

Columbus Blue Jackets goalscorer Artem Anisimov (left) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Jake Gardiner (centre) scramble for a loose puck as Leafs' goaltender James Reimer (right) looks on during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Monday March 3, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO - Defenceman Dalton Prout and centre Artem Anisimov scored in the second period as the Columbus Blue Jackets held off the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2-1 victory on Monday.

It's the Leafs third consecutive loss since the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The loss ends a seven-game home winning streak for Toronto, the Leafs' longest at Air Canada Centre since a nine-game run in 2006-07.

Prout and Anisimov scored less than three minutes apart for Columbus (), while goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was solid making 28 saves.

The victory gives the Blue Jackets a sweep of the season series as Columbus beat Toronto 5-2 on Oct. 25 and thumped the Leafs 6-0 on Nov. 25.

Mason Raymond replied for Toronto (32-23-8), making a game of it when he wired a slapshot past Bobrovsky at 15:45 of the third period. That's as close as the Leafs would get, however, despite a late flurry when goalie James Reimer was pulled.

Reimer made 31 saves in the loss.

Toronto had won five of six games prior to the Olympic break to climb into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference standings, but they're backtracking with a 0-1-2 showing since the Olympics. The Leafs remain in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, but five teams are within five or fewer points.

The teams were tied 0-0 after the first period and Columbus led 2-0 through 40 minutes.

Reimer, making his first start since Jan. 25, was sharp early as the Blue Jackets applied pressure, including a clear-cut breakaway by Columbus left-winger Nick Foligno less than for minutes into the game that was denied by the Leafs goalie.

Aided by a pair of power plays in the middle of the opening period, Toronto took over the momentum for the rest of the first period and had a handful of scoring chances but couldn't solve Bobrovsky.

Prout opened the scoring when his slapshot from the left point beat a screened Reimer at 9:44 of the second. It was the defenceman's first goal in 30 games this season and his second goal in 63 career NHL games.

A few minutes later, Anisimov gave the vistors a two-goal lead when he converted Nathan Horton's pass at the side of the crease at 12:38.

Columbus went 0 for 1 on the power play while Toronto was 0 for 2.

It doesn't get any easier for Toronto, as the the Leafs visit the New York Rangers on Wednesday, host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and then kick off a five-game road trip with three contests in California next week.

NOTES: The announced attendance at ACC was 19,577. … The Blue Jackets shut out the Leafs 6-0 at ACC in the last meeting between the two teams on Nov. 25, 2013. … Toronto scratched fourth-line forwards Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren, while Columbus sat wingers Blake Comeau and Corey Tropp and defenceman Cody Goloubef. … Centre Ryan Johansen leads the Blue Jackets with 24 goals and 47 points in 61 games. … Columbus defenceman Ryan Murray left with a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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