NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, October 8th (All times Eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (2-0-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (3-0-0), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of unbeaten teams take to the ice on Tuesday, as the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Colorado Avalanche in a battle at Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs have opened the season with a 3-0 mark and tonight the club will aim for its four-game winning streak to open a season since the start of the 2010-11 campaign.
Meanwhile, Colorado is 2-0 to begin a season for the first time since 2009-10. The franchise hasn't won three in a row to start a campaign since the Quebec Nordiques jumped out to a 5-0 start at the beginning of the 1994-95 season.
Of course, Colorado head coach Patrick Roy is still unbeaten in his debut season behind the bench. It's been a great start for Roy's Avalanche, who have scored nine goals this season while only allowing two. However, Tuesday's game will mark the club's first road game of the season and the Avalanche were just 4-16-4 as the guest last season.
After routing the Anaheim Ducks by a 6-1 score in the season opener last week, the Avs notched a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Friday. P.A. Parenteau scored a pair of goals to help lift Colorado Avalanche to the home win.
"I thought we played a strong 60 minutes tonight," said Parenteau. "Our defense had a few lapses, but we were able to stay in. It always seems our games with Nashville are low-scoring defensive battles."
Patrick Bordeleau scored the other goal for Colorado and No. 1 overall pick Nate MacKinnon continued his quick start, adding an assist, the rookie's third of the season. Semyon Varlamov turned away 25 shots in the victory and the Russian netminder will make his third start of the season on Tuesday.
Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog missed his club's second game of the season after sustaining a leg injury in the opener, but the 2011-12 Calder Trophy winner is expected to be in the lineup tonight.
The Avs and Leafs last met on Oct. 17, 2011, when Colorado recorded a 3-2 win in overtime. Colorado has taken three straight and four of its past five games in Toronto and has won four of six in this series overall.
Toronto last played on Saturday, when it overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the visiting Ottawa Senators in a shootout. Mason Raymond and Tyler Bozak tallied shootout goals while Jonathan Bernier turned away both shots he faced to help the Maple Leafs secure two points in the 5-4 decision.
Bernier stopped all 15 shots he faced in regulation and overtime after taking over between the pipes midway through the second period for James Reimer, who yielded four goals on 21 shots.
Raymond, Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul and James van Riemsdyk scored for Toronto, which overcame a 4-2 deficit to force extra time. Lupul notched his goal 17 seconds before the second intermission and van Riemsdyk lit the lamp 2:52 into the third frame to tie the score.
"We played in parts and we were sloppy throughout it but we still found a way to get two points," Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle remarked. "So we'll take that and move on."
Carlyle is expected to stick with the hot hand on Tuesday and give Bernier the start on Tuesday. The 25-year-old goaltender is 2-0 with a 0.64 goals against average and .979 save percentage in two games, having stopped 46-of-47 shots so far in his brief Maple Leafs career.
10/08 10:41:12 ET