|6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 12, 2019
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado Attendance: 16,426
Avalanche aim to stop slide in home matchup vs. Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs at Colorado Avalanche
- The Avalanche have won the last three meetings between the clubs (one of them in overtime), scoring a combined 14 goals. However, the Leafs have earned points in each of the their last seven visits to Denver (5-0-2), averaging 5.0 goals per game.
- The Maple Leafs have the league's lowest power-play percentage since December 22, scoring on 9.3 percent of their chances (4-for-43). There are 16 individual players in the league with at least four power-play goals since that date.
- Colorado has dropped three straight games, each one in overtime. Since 1999-2000, when the NHL began awarding points for overtime defeats, the Av's have not had a stretch of four straight games earning a single point.
- Mitchell Marner and John Tavares both have 50 even-strength points, tied for fifth most in the league. They are the only teammates in the NHL with 50-plus even-strength points apiece in 2018-19.
- Gabriel Landeskog is two points away from the 400th point of his career. He would be the seventh player to reach that plateau for the Avalanche since the franchise's move to Denver in 1995.
- Toronto has lost only six one-goal games this season; the Leafs' .700 points percentage in one-goal games (9-3-3) ranks seventh in the league. Colorado has a league-worst .450 points percentage in one-goal affairs, with an NHL-high 16 losses (4-6-10).
- Lightning top Bruins, 4 from wins record
- Tavares scores 4, Leafs top Panthers 7-5
- Preds blank Wild to clinch playoff spot
- Pens beat Rangers, tied for 2nd in Metro
- Red Wings extend Sharks' skid to 6
The Colorado Avalanche came through a tough road trip with hope intact and still alive for a playoff berth. But if they thought things would get any easier coming home they are mistaken.
After earning three of a possible six points against a string of top Eastern Conference teams, the Avalanche play host to another one. The Toronto Maple Leafs, winners of four of their last five games, steamroll into town on Tuesday night. Toronto (34-18-3) is coming off a 4-1 loss at the New York Rangers on Sunday and a power play that is struggling.
The Maple Leafs (34-18-3) have scored one goal on their last 18 chances on the power play and couldn't get one in four opportunities against New York despite putting 23 shots on goaltender Alexander Georgiev. The puck movement and shots were positives, but the lack of finishing is a source of frustration.
"We have five really good players and Jim (Hiller, assistant coach) does a really good job with the scheme, but right now we're pressing," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said Sunday. "We're not executing, not on faceoffs, not on breakouts, not in the zones.
"It didn't score, but it would be pretty hard to look at that power play and say it wasn't good. The guys understand they had good looks and good opportunities. On the other side, sometimes the goalie steals one, but that doesn't make you feel any better."
Scoring on the power play is just one of Colorado's issues. The Avalanche (22-22-11) haven't been able to finish games at all. They took Washington, the New York Islanders and Boston to overtime the last three games and couldn't earn the extra point. They are 1-11 in games decided after regulation, with only one of them coming in a shootout. Sunday's loss came on a goal that went off forward Matt Calvert's skate with a minute left in overtime.
"This is kind of the luck we've been having with it," coach Jared Bednar said. "We're working on it, we're watching video on it, guys are paying attention to what we're saying and defending hard 3-on-3."
The bright spot is goaltender Semyon Varlamov has played better the last few games. He made some big saves to help Colorado earn points in three straight games. He has a 91.5 save percentage after posting an 88 percent save percentage in his previous five games. He was strong in overtime on Sunday before the Bruins' fortunate bounce.
"It's just not good enough," Varlamov said after the game. "We've got to find a way to win in overtime."
The Avalanche have to find a way to win in regulation, too. They are 5-15-6 since early December but one of those was a 6-3 win at Toronto on Jan. 14. Colorado scored three goals in the second and third periods of that win but have gone lost eight of nine since.
If the Avalanche are going to make a serious run at the postseason, they'll have to win games like this one. It won't be easy. Toronto is playing well and looking to even the season series and stay close to Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 11, 2019