Lucas Viveiros | Report
The Toronto Maple Leafs soared in the Mile High City on Tuesday night, hammering the Colorado Avalanche by a final score of 5-2.
Kasperi Kapanen opened the scoring off of a beautiful outlet pass from Auston Matthews, which sent Kapanen on a breakaway one-on-one versus Semyon Varlamov. The young Finnish forward made no mistake, with a quick backhand to forehand move, before whipping the puck over the glove of Varlamov to make it 1-0.
Toronto would make some solid offensive plays the rest of the period, but their goaltender Frederik Andersen would be forced to make a series of big time stops to keep the lead. Unfortunately, at 15:16 of the period, defender Ryan Graves would beat Andersen cleanly, after a bomb of a slap-shot was unleashed from the attacking blue-line to tie the game 1-1.
Andersen once again returned to his solid form near the end of the period, this time stoning Carl Soderberg point blank, after the Avs forward toe dragged perfectly past Morgan Rielly.
The middle period was where Toronto really took over the game, as the Avalanche failed to stay out of the penalty box.
First, Auston Matthews would bury his 99th career NHL goal on a tic-tac-toe passing play started by Mitch Marner and John Tavares. Matthews would fire a laser upstairs, over the outstretched Varlamov, as the goaltender had no chance on this one. The goal game 5:19 into the second, and was a flash of things to come in the next few minutes.
Toronto would continue to add to their lead via the power-play, as under a minute and half later, John Tavares would make a similar one touch pass, but this time to Nazem Kadri, who slotted home his 14th of the season to make it 3-1 Leafs on a four minute double minor by J.T. Compher.
Finally, the Buds would fine the twine again on the Compher infraction, as Kasperi Kapanen would score his second of the game, as he was left unmarked in front to put the cherry on top and end Varlamov’s night in goal at 4-1.
In the third period, Nazem Kadri would join Kapanen with a pair on the evening, as William Nylander would feed Kadri a tap in goal right out front, beating Grubauer to further cement the victory.
Colorado would get one around the midway mark of the third, scored by Alex Kerfoot, but the Leafs would hang on to get the win 5-2.
Revisit the game’s highlights below.
Next, the Maple Leafs are set to duel the Vegas Golden Knights on Valentine’s Day evening from the ‘Sin City’.
Puck drop is scheduled for 10:00pm from T-Mobile Arena, and can be seen on Sportsnet Ontario.
More news from the ice
- With the victory, Frederik Andersen improves to 6-0-0 against the Western Conference on the road this season, and 9-2-1 in his last 12 starts overall
- Auston Matthews will aim to score his 100th career NHL goal in Vegas on Thursday
- The Maple Leafs erupting on the power-play in this game followed a run of one power-play goal in their last 18 opportunities
- Colorado has now lost eight straight games
- Wednesday marks the 20 year anniversary of the final game played at Maple Leaf Gardens (February 13, 1999)
Out of town scoreboard
Tuesday, February 12
Chicago 3 Boston 6
NY Islanders 1 Buffalo 3
Dallas 3 Florida 0
Washington 0 Columbus
Carolina 4 Ottawa 1
Calgary 3 Tampa Bay 6
New Jersey 3 St. Louis 8
Detroit 3 Nashville 2
Philadelphia 5 Minnesota 4
NY Rangers 3 Winnipeg 4
Arizona 5 Vegas 2
More coverage to follow. Image from Sportsnet.