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Leafs Melt Avalanche

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

Vs. COL: Scoring | Stats

Leafs Lines:
Defence Pairings: McCabe-Leetch, Kaberle-Berg, Johansson-Marchment
Goalies: Belfour (W 60:00, 32 SV, 2 GA), Kidd (0:00)
Injuries: Tucker (leg muscle), Wilm (groin), Renberg (hamstring), Klee (shoulder)
Healthy scratches: Stajan, Pilar, Kilger, Perrott, Berehowsky

TORONTO (AP) -- Owen Nolan scored twice and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Saturday night.

The Maple Leafs led 3-0 after the first period, but Colorado scored two quick goals in the second period after Toronto's Wade Belak was ejected for slashing Colorado's Ossi Vaananen in the head with a violent swing of his stick.

Vaananen was shaken up, but stayed on the Avalanche bench during the second period. Belak was given a match penalty for attempting to injure, an infraction that carries an automatic review by NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell.

Wade Belak was having a great game until the high sticking incident.
(Graig Abel Photography)

Colorado's John-Michael Liles then scored on the power play, and Joe Sakic made it 3-2 after Toronto goalie Ed Belfour received a slashing penalty, giving Colorado a two-man advantage.

Toronto's Mats Sundin gave Toronto a 4-2 lead by scoring on a one-timer from in front of the net with 10 seconds left in the second.

Adam Foote appeared to cut Toronto's lead to 4-3 late in the third, but the officials ruled no goal because Riku Hall interfered with Belfour.

Belfour turned the puck over in the final two minutes, but made a spectacular glove save on Colorado's Chris Gratton.

Nolan scored Toronto's first goal of the game, and added an empty-netter with in the last minute.

Colorado went 0-3 on their road trip to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Belfour made 32 saves for the Maple Leafs, who remained one point behind Boston for first place in the Northeast Division. Boston beat Tampa Bay earlier Saturday.

After a Colorado turnover, Nolan scored at 7:43 of the first.

Just under a minute later, Robert Reichel put a backhanded shot past goalie David Aebischer.

Nik Antropov's slap shot from the faceoff circle beat Aebischer at 10:15 of the first.

Game Notes: Belak and Colorado enforcer Peter Worrell traded punches in a lengthy bout in the first. Belak checked Hahl into the boards just before the fight. ... The Maple Leafs play three of their next four at the Air Canada Centre. ... The Avalanche have lost just seven of 38 road games through regulation. They have the best road record in the NHL.

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