Parenteau scores 2 to lead Maple Leafs past Avalanche, 5-1
TORONTO (AP) The Maple Leafs' maligned special-teams units enjoyed a special night against the Colorado Avalanche.
P.A. Parenteau scored twice against his former team as Toronto had four power-play goals and a short-handed score in a 5-1 victory over the Avalanche on Tuesday night.
Bozak had his first power-play goal of the season, Leo Komarov had Toronto's first short-handed goal, and James van Riemsdyk also scored to help the Leafs win for the fourth time in five games.
The last time the Leafs scored four power-play goals was Jan. 7, 2011, in a 9-3 win at Atlanta.
''We're all pretty comfortable where we are and we're moving the puck, we're bringing the puck to the net and good things are happening for us,'' said Parenteau, who was traded from the Avalanche to Montreal in the summer of 2014 for Daniel Briere.
''It's a very tough league to score goals 5-on-5, we all know that, so it's nice to have nights like tonight. It gives you a lot of confidence in your power play.''
James Reimer stopped 34 shots for his fourth straight win. After a bad start, the Leafs now have points in seven of their past nine games.
Reimer credited his teammates for keeping chances mostly to the outside and limiting the Avalanche's quality opportunities.
''The team played another phenomenal game,'' Reimer said.
Erik Johnson scored for Colorado. Reto Berra started and gave up four goals on 26 shots before he was pulled. Calvin Pickard came on in the third period and stopped three of the four shots he faced.
''I guess we just had an off night,'' Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. ''Tonight was one of our worst performances. They scored four power-play goals and one short-handed goal, and that was the story of the game.''
Toronto entered the game ranked 25th in the NHL on the power play with a conversion rate of just 15.1 per cent and 23rd on the penalty kill with a success rate of 78.7 per cent. At home, the Leafs' penalty kill was third-worst in the league.
Those numbers were rendered moot by breakout performances against the Avalanche. The penalty kill went 4 for 4 with Komarov's short-handed goal an added extra, and the power play was 4 for 5.
Berra, who had stopped 89 of the first 92 shots he faced in three straight road victories in place of the injured Semyon Varlamov, was beaten clean by Komarov but couldn't do much on the power-play goals.
Coach Mike Babcock liked the puck speed on the power play, something Peter Holland attributed to developing a rhythm and some chemistry.
''We know where each other is, that's the biggest thing,'' said Holland, who had three assists. ''It's not always going to go in the net, but as long as we're creating chances, it's going to go in more times than not.''
The special-teams success made it look like a lopsided result, but the Avalanche outshot the Leafs 32-21 at even strength.
That was little consolation to Roy.
''Our penalty-killing was really good against Montreal, was really good in Boston and really good in Philadelphia so let's not panic over this game,'' he said. ''Obviously we need to learn from it. I thought we had a good start to the game, but we were just sloppy on our power play giving them two great chances. You cannot win on the road if your power play and penalty kill is not playing some good hockey.''
Parenteau was back on the ice for the Leafs' second power-play goal as Holland dished the puck to Boyes who fed it to Bozak. The center scored from one knee as Toronto went up 3-0 for the first time all season.
Parenteau and van Riemsdyk added power-play goals in the third period.
NOTES: Toronto forward Nick Spaling missed the game with an undisclosed injury. Boyes replaced him in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past three games. ... Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog served the second game of his two-game suspension for a check to the head of Bruins winger Brad Marchand.