TORONTO (AP) — Phil Kessel scored 34 seconds into overtime and the Toronto Maple Leafs earned a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul also scored for Toronto. Goaltender James Reimer, who took a delay of game penalty in the third period, made 22 saves to pick up another victory in his second straight start.
Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene scored for Colorado. With a pair of assists, former Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla picked up his first two points with his new team.
Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov was sharp in making 37 saves.
Even though Toronto got off to a slow start with a hooking penalty on Stephane Robidas just 13 seconds in, the Leafs grabbed the lead midway through the first period.
After Jamie McGinn turned it over to Tyler Bozak in the neutral zone, van Riemsdyk and Kessel got a 2-on-1 break with plenty of room to operate. Kessel threaded a pass by Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie and to van Riemsdyk for his second of the season at 9:54 to make it 1-0.
The Leafs had too many defenders crowded around the net and that contributed to Colorado’s tying goal a few minutes later.
Stationed behind Reimer’s net, O’Reilly got a good bounce when the puck ricocheted off Erik Johnson’s stick and Iginla’s skate back to him for a backhand at 13:14.
The score remained 1-1 until 17:40 of the second when the Leafs lost a puck battle in the corner. McGinn came away with it, got it to Iginla, and he found Duchene for his first goal of the season.
A failed clear by Colorado defenseman Brad Stuart led to the puck landing right on Lupul’s stick for the tying goal at 10:36 of the third.
Within seconds, Lupul had another quality opportunity on a rush but sailed his shot high and wide. Not long after, Varlamov stopped Kessel on a breakaway to keep it at 2-2.
Reimer put the Leafs in a tough spot at 14:23 when his attempt to bank the puck off the glass went into the stands. But the penalty kill was successful on the way to overtime.
Notes: Jake Gardiner was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Coach Randy Carlyle said the 24-year-old needs to “play better” whenever he returns to the lineup. … Defenseman Roman Polak left briefly in the first after taking a shot to the left arm. After going to the bench in pain, Polak returned for his next shift.
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