Colorado Avalanche take advantage of struggling Maple Leafs in 6-3 road win
Carl Soderberg scored his first career hat trick — including the go-ahead goal midway through the third period — as the visiting Colorado Avalanche defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Monday night.
Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Matt Calvert also scored goals for the Avalanche. Who won for the second time in the past 11 games.
Calvert’s goal and Soderberg’s third goal were into an empty net in the third period.
Igor Ozhiganov, Kasperi Kapanen and Mitch Marner scored for the Maple Leafs. Who have now lost five of their past seven games. Auston Matthews added two assists for Toronto.
Goaltender Frederik Andersen returned to the Maple Leafs’ net after missing eight games with a groin injury and the flu. He made 32 saves.
Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 17 saves.
Ozhiganov scored his third goal of the season at 2:14 of the second period on a wrist shot from the right point that Varlamov struggled to handle.
Toronto’s Par Lindholm put the puck into the goal slightly more than a minute later. But it was nullified when the video review showed the play was offside.
Kapanen scored his 15th goal of the season on a short shot from the right side of the goal at 3:28 of the second.
Landeskog deflected a shot by Tyson Barrie at 6:33 of the second for his 28th goal this season.
Colorado tied the game on Rantanen’s 21st goal this season, unassisted, at 9:56 of the second on a shot from the right circle.
Colorado took a 3-2 lead on Soderberg’s 13th goal, an unassisted, shorthanded effort at 14:29 of the second after he took the puck from defenseman Jake Gardiner near the goal and snapped his shot while sprawling. Marner tied the game at 6:00 of the third period with his 18th goal. A wrist shot from the left circle.
Colorado regained the lead when Soderberg scored his second of the game at 11:45 of the third on a shot from the left circle.
Calvert scored his seventh this season into the vacant goal at 17:09 of the third and Soderberg scored his 15th into an empty net at 18:12.
Mike Babcock was disappointed with the Leafs effort. He said: “I thought they worked harder than we did. Any way you look at it, I think we are .500 in our last ten. Since Christmas, we haven’t been engaged enough. We haven’t competed at a high enough level.
“If you just did a, “Who won all the races and who won all the battles?” They did. The game was fair in the end. I thought we were in a good spot, obviously. We had good chances in the first on the power play, we had the breakaway. And had the seam pass. In saying all of that, they kept winning more and more as the game went on. They deserved the win.”
Babcock continued: “We haven’t been very good. We can compete way harder than we are right now. For whatever reason, since Christmas, we haven’t found that level. I don’t know why that is. We have in games. I thought a lot of the Boston game, a lot of the Nashville game, the Vancouver game… But it hasn’t been every day at a high enough level.
“You’re not going to win. The NHL is too tight.”