Devon Toews scored 1:12 in overtime, and the Colorado Avalanche overcame a three-goal deficit on Saturday night to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4. This was their 11th consecutive home win for the franchise.
Jack Campbell stole Toews’ glove with a diving glove save during the third period. He beat the goaltender between his legs on the left side for the sixth goal of the season. Colorado hasn’t lost at home since November 3 against Columbus, and has now surpassed the team record of 10 consecutive home victories set three times previously.
Auston Matthews scored two goals in 33 seconds during the first period. Nick Ritchie also scored a goal early on the second and third days, after Toronto had been given the waiver to make it 4-1.
The NHL’s top offence was revved up in third.
Gabriel Landeskog scored his fourteenth goal, making it 4-3 just after Campbell robbed Toews. J.T. Compher tied the game at 4. With 8:18 remaining, Compher was tied after Mikko Rantanen’s no-look pass from behind the goal. Rantanen assisted with the three final goals.
Alexander Kerfoot scored and assisted two goals, while Campbell recorded 45 saves. The Maple Leafs’ four-game winning streak was ended.
For Colorado, Nathan MacKinnon scored to extend the NHL’s longest active streak to 13 games. Cale Makar, with his 15th goal as well as an assist, scored for the Avalanche who have won four straight.
Darcy Kuemper was expelled after allowing three goals on eight shots. Pavel Francouz saved 19 shots in relief.
The game was played between teams with a combined record 40-16-4. Colorado (4.2 goals per game) was the NHL’s top scoring club, while Toronto (2.41 allowed goals) was the second-best defense team.
Matthews scored a hat trick and the Maple Leafs won 8-3 at their first meeting.
Toronto won its first shot at 7-0 after being outshot by 7-0 in the beginning. Kerfoot beat Kuemper at 7;54. Kerfoot received two assists when Matthews scored at 14.17 and 14.50, giving him 22 goals.
Jared Bednar of Colorado called his timeout and pulled Kuemper, who had won seven consecutive starts.
MacKinnon’s goal late in the period was scored by Morgan Rielly. Ritchie then answered Wayne Simmonds’ no-look feed on the power play at 5 minutes 39. Ritchie scored his second goal in 31 games, making it 4-1.
Ritchie was signed from Boston to a $5 million US offseason deal. He has struggled and was a healthy scratch against Ottawa the week before. He cleared waivers on Friday, after no other club wanted to take his contract. Then he was placed on the Toronto third line short-handed.
Hockey Diversity Alliance campaign
Simmonds, who was Black, and Colorado’s Nazem Kdri, a Muslim from Lebanese descent wore anti-racism tape in a campaign of the Hockey Diversity Alliance. YouTube video features racist messages that hockey players received via social media.
Simmonds explained that the decision was made because “a lot of that stuff is behind-the scenes and people don’t hear about it, people doesn’t see it,” Simmonds said prior to the game. It’s sometimes hard to put out some of the experiences we have. It doesn’t happen all the time. It happens far too often.