(Toronto) The Toronto Maple Leafs were two minutes away from relishing an electrifying victory.
They had finally broken through Joonas Korpisalo's wall and were heading for a victory that would tie one game to either side in this qualifying series in the Eastern Conference.
Then, as they elapsed a late penalty in the third period on Tuesday, defenseman Jake Muzzin suffered a double check from Columbus Blue Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois before tripping and hitting his neck / head. against the leg of forward Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Muzzin attempted to stand up and move his extremities, but was unable to skate afterward. He was helped by a member of the team before the medical staff arrived to help him. He was subsequently transported on a stretcher.
The Leafs eventually sealed the outcome with a 3-0 victory, but their thoughts were elsewhere.
“What he brings to our team is immeasurable,” said Leafs captain John Tavares, who scored the second goal of the game. It's hard to see that, because we love this guy. "
The Leafs then posted a tweet in which they indicated the 31-year-old was taken to hospital. They added that he was conscious, and that he was able to move his extremities.
“We're all praying for him,” said Toronto forward Mitch Marner. There are much more important things in life than hockey. "
As for the game, Auston Matthews finally found a loophole in Korpisalo's game late in the second period.
Tavares added an insurance goal in the third period, while Frederik Andersen blocked 21 shots. It was his first shutout of the tournament. Morgan Rielly sealed the victory by scoring in an empty net with 42.6 seconds to go late in the game.
“We applied a lot of pressure,” said Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe. Our guys have upped their game a notch. "
Korpisalo, who blocked 28 shots for a shutout in the first game, turned back 36 pucks.
The two teams will meet again on Thursday evening to play the third game of the series.