A Perfect Ten.
Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves for the victory, as he moved into second all-time, behind only Patrick Roy for most consecutive wins by an Avs goalie.
The secondary scoring stepped up in a big way, as the team put in a full effort in order to prove they can get it done on the road as well. Now to make it 11 in Montreal tomorrow night.
As with the previous nine games, the Avalanche scored first tonight giving them the quick start they needed on the road. Gabriel Bourque was able to get one past Freddie Anderson just over two minutes into the game. The goal was assisted by rookie Tyson Jost and J.T. Compher as the newly formed line came out flying and didn’t let up all game.
The lead held for the rest of the first period as the Avs penalty kill came up huge again, holding the Leafs off the score sheet.
Unfortunately, that changed early in the second as Patrick Marleau blasted home the 524the goal of his career. That puts him in a tie for 35th all-time in NHL history.
Just nine minutes later, Auston Matthews broke the tie, getting one past Bernier to make amends for one he scored earlier that was called back thanks to goaltender interference.
Toronto’s lead didn’t last long as Nail Yakupov responded a minute later. He buried a one-timer off of a perfect setup from Alex Kerfoot in order to send the game to the intermission tied 2-2.
The Maple Leafs carried the play for the first half of the third period. The Avs sat back and looked like they were playing for overtime in order to ensure a point on the road. Then, after being dominated by the Matthews and Nylander line all night, Blake Comeau and Carl Soderberg were able to break loose on a rush. After being left all alone in front of the net, Comeau deflected home a centering pass from Soderberg to give the Avalanche a late 3-2 lead.
The Leafs pressured and pulled their goalie early. Colorado’s top line - the one that has been carrying the offensive load for the past few weeks - had a different role now. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog were tasked with shutting down Toronto late. Not only did they succeed at shutting the door defensively, the captain was able to find the empty net to solidify a 4-2 Avalanche win.
Ten in a row. That’s pretty wild.
- The line of Jost, Compher and Bourque looked great together. All three looked comfortable and were flying all night.
- Tyson Jost is back at his natural position down the middle and excelling. It’s where he should have been all season.
- Though they scored the game-winning goal, the line of Comeau, Soderberg and Matt Nieto were outplayed all night and had a hard time handling the speed of the Leafs top line.
- On the flip side, the “fourth line” of Kerfoot, Yakupov and Dominic Toninato were absolutely dominant. They played less than 10 minutes each, but were right around 65-70% possession and looked incredible together.
- Jonathan Bernier is most definitely feeling the Bern. He has pushed his personal streak to 9-0-0 and will force the coaching staff to make some big decisions once Semyon Varlamov is healthy.
The Avalanche head to Montreal for a meeting with the Canadiens tomorrow night.
Let’s hope this one goes to 11.