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game recap

Barrie has two points for Maple Leafs in victory against Avalanche

Former Colorado defenseman scores in return, Toronto gets second win in row under Keefe

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

Barrie's power-play tally

TOR@COL: Barrie one-times PPG from the slot

Tyson Barrie one-times a pass from William Nylander into the back of the net from the slot for a power-play goal

  • 00:46 •

DENVER -- Tyson Barrie had a goal and an assist for the Toronto Maple Leafs in his first game against the Colorado Avalanche, a 5-3 win at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist, and Frederik Andersen made 34 saves for the Maple Leafs (11-10-4), who have won two games in a row since Sheldon Keefe replaced Mike Babcock as coach Wednesday following a six-game winless streak (0-5-1).

Toronto acquired Barrie, whose 75 goals and 307 points are the most by a defenseman in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history, in a July 1 trade that sent forward Nazem Kadri to Colorado.


[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Avalanche highlights]


"I wasn't sure how it was going to feel coming back here, and it's been an amazing place to call home the last eight years, and that really topped it off," Barrie said of the standing ovation he received following a video tribute 7:42 into the first period. "It'll always be special to me, and these fans are great."

Kadri had two assists, and Philipp Grubauer allowed four goals on 15 shots in the first period before being replaced to begin the second by Pavel Francouz, who made 12 saves for the Avalanche (13-8-2). Colorado has lost two games in a row and three of five.

Video: TOR@COL: Matthews pots wicked wrist shot

"I think the first period was a bit of a write-off, we didn't show up," Kadri said. "We just dug ourselves in a hole, and it was too much to climb out of. Second and third periods, we were definitely the better team, but the first period hurt us."

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead 31 seconds into the game when Nathan MacKinnon scored with a one-timer from the point.

"I think I overpushed a little bit, and all the way down I thought he was going to shoot a little harder, and I missed it," Andersen said.

The Maple Leafs tied it 1-1 at 9:49 when Nicholas Shore slammed the puck in from the crease off a pass from Pierre Engvall from the left face-off circle.

Video: TOR@COL: Shore redirects puck into the twine

Matthews made it 2-1 at 10:56 when he took a pass from Barrie and scored from the high slot.

Barrie gave Toronto a 3-1 lead with a power-play goal at 13:22. William Nylander was at the right side of the net when he passed to Barrie for a one-timer in the left slot.

"I'm on that side as a one-timer and just trying to be a threat, and it was a great pass," said Barrie, who has two goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. "It felt really good to get that one here, not that there's any ill will with this team, but just coming home in front of all the familiar faces, it's nice to get that one."

Kasperi Kapanen made it 4-1 at 17:36 when he scored on a breakaway off a pass from Jason Spezza.

Video: TOR@COL: Kapanen speeds in and scores on breakaway

The Avalanche closed to 4-2 at 10:21 of the second period when Andre Burakovsky scored on the power play from low in the right circle off a pass from Joonas Donskoi.

Valeri Nichushkin made it 4-3 at 6:54 of the third period, converting the rebound of Ian Cole's point shot for his first goal in 92 games dating to March 4, 2016, against the New Jersey Devils.

"The third period, we were working hard, we were battling, we were winning pucks," Burakovsky said. "That's the way we have to start the game and finish the game. We have to go 60 minutes and do that job. It's just unfortunate that we couldn't get one at the end."

Zach Hyman scored into an empty net with less than a second remaining for the 5-3 final.

Video: TOR@COL: MacKinnon buries heavy slap shot


They said it

"Wins in general are important. I thought while it was ugly, what it did was require for us to battle. I've only been here for a few days, but these guys have been on the road a long time, they've been grinding, they've been through a lot. It's a good win." -- Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe

"In the second period, we came out firing on all cylinders, but we have to have more urgency in the way we defend. We just followed them around the ice (in the first period) and let them do what they want. They're too skilled for that." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Need to know

Keefe is the fourth Maple Leafs coach to win his first two games, joining Pat Quinn (3-0-0 in 1998-99), George O'Donoghue (2-0-0 in 1921-22) and Dan Maloney (2-0-0 in 1984-85). ... Barrie has scored in consecutive games after being held without a goal his first 23 games with Toronto. ... Matthews has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in the past 10 games. ... Maple Leafs forward Alexander Kerfoot, acquired in the Barrie-Kadri trade, had one shot on goal in 12:36 and was assessed a boarding penalty in the second period. ... Burakovsky has six goals and three assists during a five-game streak. ... MacKinnon has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in the past six games.


What's next

Maple Leafs: At the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ALT, SNW, NHL.TV)

Video: Matthews, Barrie lead Maple Leafs past Avalanche, 5-3

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