February 13, 2019 / 4:52 AM / 6 months ago

Maple Leafs hammer struggling Avalanche

EditorsNote: Changes 5-1 to 5-2 in last graf

Feb 12, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) moves in on goal in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Kasperi Kapanen and Nazem Kadri had two goals apiece, Auston Matthews also scored and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 in Denver on Tuesday night.

Matthews and John Tavares had two assists each, and Frederik Andersen stopped 34 shots to help the Maple Leafs win for the fifth time in the last six games. Toronto stayed a point ahead of Boston for second place in the Atlantic Division with the win.

Alexander Kerfoot had a goal and an assist, Ryan Graves scored and Samuel Girard had two assists for the Avalanche. Semyon Varlamov allowed four goals on 17 shots before being replaced by Philipp Grubauer. Grubauer had 10 saves for Colorado, which has lost eight in a row.

Toronto came into Tuesday having gone 1-for-18 on the power play but scored three in a span of 1 minute, 49 seconds of the second period. It started when Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie went off for tripping at 4:30, and the Maple Leafs took advantage within a minute.

Matthews got a pass at the left circle from Tavares and shot the puck just inside the left post before Varlamov could recover to make the save. It was his 25th of the season.

Colorado, which has allowed 26 power-play goals in the last 26 games, was called for a double-minor a minute after Matthews scored. With J.T. Compher in the box for a high stick, Kadri skated down the slot as Tavares one-timed a pass to him, and the forward beat Varlamov at 6:46.

Kapanen, who had given Toronto a 1-0 lead in the first period, completed the onslaught with his 18th at 7:08.

Grubauer came on for Varlamov and allowed Kadri’s 15th goal at 5:42 of the third period.

Colorado tried to get back into it midway through the third. Kerfoot cut the lead to 5-2 when he tipped in a shot from the point by Girard at 8:14. A minute later, Toronto took a penalty for too many men, but the Avalanche couldn’t capitalize.

—Field Level Media

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