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game recap

Andersen allows four in return from injury, Maple Leafs fall to Avalanche

Soderberg's hat trick helps Colorado end three-game losing streak

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

Soderberg's shorthanded goal

COL@TOR: Soderberg steals puck, chips in SHG

Carl Soderberg swipes the puck while shorthanded and backhands it around Frederik Andersen while falling to the ice

  • 00:48 •

TORONTO -- Frederik Andersen allowed four goals in his return from a groin injury, and the Toronto Maple Leafs lost 6-3 to the Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.

It was Andersen's first game since Dec. 22. He missed eight consecutive games, seven due to injury and one because of the flu.

"You just feel a little bit slow on your reads maybe and maybe the patience wasn't there on some of the plays, but you get back into it and hopefully it goes better next time," Andersen said. "They definitely came to work and did well tonight. You have to be careful with teams like that; sometimes they come and outwork you and they definitely had their work boots on and got rewarded."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Maple Leafs highlights]

 

Carl Soderberg scored his first NHL hat trick and broke a tie with 8:15 remaining in the third period for Colorado (21-17-8), which trailed 2-0 in the second period but rallied to end a three-game losing streak. Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen and Matt Calvert scored and Semyon Varlamov made 17 saves.

"It feels pretty good. I think we played good from the start," said Soderberg, who played his 446th NHL game. "Even when they scored the second goal, you could feel on the bench we were going tonight. I'm glad we could get a win here tonight."

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Soderberg nets three vs Toronto

Igor Ozhiganov, Kasperi Kapanen and Mitchell Marner scored and Auston Matthews had two assists for Toronto (28-15-2), which is 2-5-0 in its past seven after a five-game winning streak.

"We only have ourselves to blame," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "Myself as the head coach, I'm responsible. We didn't play well enough, we didn't play hard enough. We'll take a day off, take a breath and then get back to work because this is not good enough."

Soderberg's second of the game gave the Avalanche a 4-3 lead. Colin Wilson won a battle for a loose puck behind the net against Nikita Zaitsev and Travis Dermott and got the puck to J.T. Compher, who found Soderberg in the left face-off circle.

"It was hard to earn ice and get into the interior of the ice to create scoring chances, but I liked our resiliency," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "Our bench was positive and kept pushing in the right direction."

Ozhiganov (2:14) and Kapanen (3:28) scored 1:14 apart early in the second period to give the Maple Leafs a 2-0 lead.

But Landeskog made it 2-1 at 6:33, and Rantanen tied it at 9:56 after a turnover by Nazem Kadri.

Video: COL@TOR: Andersen stops MacKinnon on the break

Soderberg gave the Avalanche a 3-2 lead while shorthanded at 14:29 after he beat Jake Gardiner to a loose puck.

"I just tried to get body position and then when I did that, I whiffed on the puck," Gardiner said. "Then he regained the body position and scored."

Marner tied it 3-3 at 6:00 of the third period when he took a stretch pass from Travis Dermott and shot over Varlamov's glove from the left circle.

Calvert scored into an empty net to make it 5-3 at 17:09 before Soderberg completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal at 18:12 for the 6-3 final.

Video: COL@TOR: Rantanen steals puck, buries wrist shot

"We had to dig in there and fight from behind and show some character and resiliency, and we did that," Bednar said. "The other night (a 3-0 loss at the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday), we didn't respond after we gave up one and kind of crumbled a little bit.

"Tonight was a different feel. We needed something to go our way and had some of our top guys make some plays."

 

They said it

"I do think the effort has been there the last four or five games. But when you're going through something like this, it seems like lately we need the perfect game to win and within the perfect game you need individual efforts here and there. Guys stepped up tonight and hopefully we can turn the page, move on to Ottawa and look to get another one." -- Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog

Video: COL@TOR: Landeskog trims deficit with deflection

 

"Tonight we got Freddie back, that should have given us a boost. But in the end, we didn't manage it like it was a boost, and so it cost us. But we haven't been good enough. Everyone is getting better and we've hit a lull, so we've got to get it turned." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock

 

Need to know

It was the Avalanche's third win in the past 13 games (3-8-2). … (Landeskog and Rantanen each has seven points (four goals, three assists) in the past five games. … Maple Leafs center John Tavares was minus-4. … Toronto is 1-12-2 when trailing after the second period. … Marner has scored in three straight games. … Kapanen played his 100th NHL game.

Video: COL@TOR: Marner snipes pinpoint top-shelf goal

 

What's next

Avalanche: At the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, ALT, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, TVAS, SUN, SNO, NHL.TV)

Video: Soderberg records first career hat trick in 6-3 win

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