And then the Avalanche played downhill. Gabriel Landeskog on a deflection at the 6:33 mark; a Nathan MacKinnon breakaway that was stopped a minute later; Mikko Rantanen stripping Nazem Kadri to end a two-turnover Toronto shift with a goal. Carl Soderberg then outbattled Jake Gardiner for a puck that had been knocked loose on a Toronto power play and scored. Gardiner was benched for the rest of the period, and was booed by a small but growing crew through the third whenever he touched the puck. Brutal. The shots were 31-13 for Colorado through two, and the Leafs looked just awful.
Mitch Marner scored his 18th on a stretch pass from Travis Dermott, and the Leafs raised the intensity significantly, but the second pair and a Matthews line with Nylander and Marner still left Soderberg alone in the slot and he made it 4-3 with 8:15 left. They added two empty netters. What a stinker of a game.