Nov 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nick Holden (2) celebrates his goal with center Nathan MacKinnon (29) and right wing Jarome Iginla (12) and left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Avalanche got what they deserved Thursday night – a mark in the win column. Colorado came out flying and ended up with the 4-3 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Colorado came out of the gates hot after switching from a man-to-man defense to a zone. It took just 31 seconds to score as Nathan MacKinnon found Nick Holden on the left side of the net for the goal – Holden’s first of the 2014-15′ season.
Toronto did respond late in the first period as the Avs’ killer Phil Kessel sniped one past Reto Berra, collecting his 7th goal of the season. Cody Franson and Richard Panik picked up the helpers as Toronto and Colorado were tied at one apiece.
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Early in the second period, Colorado’s defenseman Zach Redmond was called for a slashing penalty, sending Toronto on the power-play. Colorado’s 29-straight penalty-kills was snapped as Tyler Bozak collected goal number five of the season, giving the Leafs a 2-1 advantage
Then exactly a minute later, the crafty veteran Alex Tanguay scored on a breakaway goal after receiving a beautiful pass. Tangs notched his 5th goal of the season as Redmond and Tyson Barrie picked up the assists.
Halfway through the third period, the Colorado Avalanche pushed the tempo. Center Matt Duchene beat Leafs’ goaltender Jonathan Bernier for his 4th goal of the season – giving the Avs’ a 3-2 lead. One thing the Avs haven’t done particularly well this season is close out games and what do you know.
Toronto pulled Bernier late in the third for the extra attacker and it paid dividends. Richard Panik was wide open in the slot as he shot one past Berra to tie it up at 3-3 with under two minutes remaining. The game remained scoreless as it went into overtime, only to move to a shootout after both teams failed to score.
Colorado was perfect on the shootout as all three participants (Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Alex Tanguay) scored to put the pressure on Toronto. After Tyler Bozak beat Reto Berra five-hole, James van Riemsdyk failed on a wrist-shot which led to an Avalanche victory.
- Note: Ryan O’Reilly collected an assist in tonight’s victory, capturing his 200th NHL point. Congrats, Ryan!
The Colorado Avalanche (4-6-5, 13 points) are back in action on the road Saturday night as they take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM EST, 5:00 PM MST.