Maple Leafs’ Jake Muzzin responsive after taken off on stretcher

TORONTO — Auston Matthews and John Tavares scored and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 on Tuesday to even their best-of-five qualifying series at one game.

Toronto defenseman Jake Muzzin was taken off the ice on a stretcher with 1:52 left in the game after his head made contact with Columbus’ Oliver Bjorkstrand behind the Blue Jackets net. Muzzin was attended to by a trainer before more medical personnel arrived on the ice. He was taken to a hospital, but there was no immediate word on his condition.

“He was responsive,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We’re just awaiting the assessment.”

After he went down Scotiabank Arena fell silent, which seemed even more eerie with no fans in the stands.

Jake Muzzin
Jake MuzzinGetty Images

“It’s difficult, seeing a guy like Jake who is very well-loved in the locker room, being as tough as (he is) being told to lay down and not move,” Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen said. “So we’re really thinking about him and making sure all the right steps are taken and hopefully he’ll recover soon.”

Andersen made 20 saves for his third career playoff shutout, and Morgan Rielly added an empty-net goal with 43 seconds left.