|Date of game: 10/14/2014
Recap: Toronto vs. Colorado
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Phil Kessel scored 34 seconds into overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche at Air Canada Centre.
On the game-winner, Kessel retrieved a puck in the Colorado zone, had a step on Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie as he cut to the front of the net and swept the puck underneath Semyon Varlamov.
"Phil's a special player. If you give him enough opportunities, he can score, he can hurt people in different ways," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle.
The Maple Leafs, who avoided an 0-3 start at home, tied the game at 2-2 on Joffrey Lupul's unassisted tally at the 10:36 mark of the third period.
Avalanche defenseman Brad Stuart's clearing attempt off the glass didn't work out. Lupul gloved the puck and fired a wrister from the left circle through the pads of Varlamov.
James van Riemsdyk added a goal and James Reimer made 22 saves as the Maple Leafs beat Colorado in Toronto for the first time since March 20, 2004. The Avalanche had won four straight as the road team in the series.
Ryan O'Reilly and Matt Duchene both scored their first goals of the season for Colorado, which has only one win through four games. Varlamov stopped 37 shots.
"Obviously in the third they had maybe more gas than we had, but overall I thought we played a good game," said Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy.
An errant pass by Colorado in the neutral zone triggered a counter rush by the Maple Leafs and van Riemsdyk finished off a give-and-go with Kessel to open the scoring 9:54 into the contest.
It didn't take the Avalanche long to respond.
Holding the puck behind the Toronto net, O'Reilly fired a pass to Erik Johnson, who pinched down from the point. The defenseman's shot from the slot deflected wide off teammate Jarome Iginla, but the puck went right to O'Reilly at the left side of the net and he beat Reimer on a backhander at 13:14 of the opening period.
Iginla set Duchene up for the go-ahead goal late in the second period. Duchene gathered Iginla's pass from the left corner and scored on a rising shot from the slot with 2:20 remaining.Game Notes
O'Reilly led the Avalanche with a career-high 28 goals last season ... Toronto
center Tyler Bozak had two assists in his 300th career NHL game.