TORONTO, ON — Nathan MacKinnon was the only scorer in the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Mikko Rantanen scored in regulation for Colorado (38-22-6), which got 18 saves from Alexandar Georgiev.
Morgan Rielly scored for Toronto (40-18-9). Ilya Samsonov stopped 28 shots.
After a frantic overtime in which both teams had terrific chances, MacKinnon beat Samsonov on a nice deke on the Avalanche’s second shot.
Georgiev then denied Mitch Marner for Colorado, which improved to 4-4 in shootouts. Toronto dropped to 0-2 in shootouts.
Coming off a 4-3 home loss to Buffalo on Monday in which Toronto held a 2-0 lead late in the second period, the Maple Leafs opened the scoring three minutes into the first when Rielly scored his third, after earlier hitting the post.
The Avalanche responded on a power play later in the period, when Rantanen’s pass went in off Toronto defenseman Jake McCabe for his 44th of the season.
Samsonov stopped Valeri Nichushkin on a short-handed breakaway in the second before Cale Makar nearly went end-to-end on a rush, but the puck trickled wide.
Georgiev matched his Russian counterpart at the other end by denying Rielly on a power play and Calle Jarnkrok from in close to keep things even through 40 minutes.
After the Maple Leafs killed two penalties early in the third, William Nylander and Auston Matthews had a good chance on Georgiev.
Ratanen's 44 goals are the most by a Finnish-born player since Teemu Selanne scored 48 in 2006-07.
Marner factored in on the game-opening goal for the 19th time this season, which trails only MacKinnon (20) for the most among all players.
WAITING ON GABE
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who has yet to play this season, continues to work his way back from knee surgery.
Colorado head coach Jared Bednar said following Tuesday’s practice there’s still no timeline for the winger’s return.
“Making progress,” Bednar said. “Gonna keep grinding to get back as soon as he can. I don’t know when that will be. I don’t know if it’ll be regular season, beginning of post-season. It’s all going to be up to him.”
Luke Schenn returned to Scotiabank Arena as a member of the Maple Leafs for the first time in more than a decade.
Acquired from Vancouver prior to the trade deadline, the veteran defenseman rejoined the club after his wife recently gave birth to the couple’s third child.
The Leafs selected Schenn, who didn’t dress against Colorado, with the fifth overall pick in 2008 before trading him to Philadelphia in 2012.
“Coming into this dressing room, it’s surreal,” the 33-year-old said Wednesday morning. “You appreciate what it means to play in Toronto, but not to the extent I do now.”
Artturi Lehkonen will be out at least four weeks with a broken finger suffered in Colorado’s 8-4 victory over Montreal on Monday, adding to the club’s season-long injury misery.
The winger was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday in Colorado.
“One of our identity guys,” Bednar said. “One of the hardest-working guys on the ice in every single game.”
Avalanche: At Ottawa on Thursday in the third game of a four-game trip.
Maple Leafs: Host Carolina on Friday in the finale of a four-game homestand.
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