James van Riemsdyk recorded a goal and an assist while Nazem Kadri
and Jay McClement also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won six
straight for the first time since Dec. 23, 2005-Jan. 2, 2006. Tyler
Bozak and Joffrey Lupul notched two assists apiece and James Reimer
stopped 35 shots as Toronto improved to 2-0-0 on its four-game road
Rookie Nathan MacKinnon scored both goals for the Avalanche, who had
their four-game winning streak snapped by losing in regulation for
only the second time in 12 contests (8-2-2). PA Parenteau registered
an assist in his return from a knee injury and Semyon Varlamov
allowed three goals on 10 shots before being replaced by
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who finished with 19 saves.
Kessel opened the scoring at 3:56 of the first period with his 25th
of the season. A breakout pass by captain Dion Phaneuf missed the
mark and caromed off the end boards but went right to Kessel, who
beat Varlamov from the right side of the crease.
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Defenseman Cody Franson's shot during a power play deflected
off van Riemsdyk and past Varlamov with 2:19 remaining in the
first and Kadri tipped in blue-liner Jake Gardiner's shot from
the left point at 2:55 of the second to make it 3-0. Kessel
capped his fifth multi-goal effort of the season less than three
minutes later before MacKinnon tallied late in the second and
early in the third to halve the deficit.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Kessel extended his point streak to seven games,
registering six multi-point performances along the way. The
26-year-old has collected six goals and eight assists during the
run. ... Varlamov fell to 11-1-5 since his last regulation loss
on Dec. 10 against Phoenix. ... Parenteau saw 12:06 of ice time
in his first game since Dec. 29. ... MacKinnon's two-goal effort
was the third of his young NHL career. All three have come over
his last nine games. ... McClement, a former member of the
Avalanche, scored into an empty net for his 200th career point.
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