Avalanche-Maple Leafs Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 07, 2013
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Though the Toronto Maple Leafs are undefeated, they're still figuring out who is the best option for them in goal. Jonathan Bernier will likely get the start over James Reimer when the Leafs host a more well-known goaltender, Patrick Roy, in his first visit as coach of the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night. Bernier made 32 saves in a 3-1 win at Philadelphia on Wednesday. He then came on in relief of a shaky Reimer in the home opener against Ottawa on Saturday, stopping the 15 shots he faced as well as both Senators attempts in the shootout of a come-from-behind 5-4 win. The Leafs (3-0-0) have trailed in all three games, but coach Randy Carlyle seems more comfortable with Bernier in net in the early going. "There wasn't a lot of extra rebounds hanging around," Carlyle said. "When he made the save, the puck was either in his glove or he was able to freeze it. He controlled the puck, which allowed us to box out. There wasn't so many wild scrambles around the net. Hat's off to him." Carlyle hinted that Bernier's latest performance added some clarity to the goaltending decision for Tuesday. "It makes it easier," Carlyle said. Toronto has five players with at least three points, two of them being newcomers. Mason Raymond is tied for the team lead with two goals and four points while Dave Bolland has two goals and an assist. While the Leafs have allowed eight goals, the Avalanche have been much better defensively. They followed a 6-1 season-opening win against Anaheim with a 3-1 victory over Nashville on Friday, and they're about to get more help with the return of Gabriel Landeskog. Roy confirmed the captain would return after missing Friday's contest with a minor leg injury. "We just wanted to make sure that we were on the safe side with this one," Landeskog told the team's official website. "So early in the season, there is no point to risking anything now. It was just a minor little thing so we made sure we took care of it right away." P.A. Parenteau scored his first two goals of the season against the Predators. No. 1 overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon assisted on the first Parenteau goal and has three assists in his first two NHL games. "We're trying our best," Parenteau said of his third-line assignment with MacKinnon and Jamie McGinn. "MacKinnon has a lot of speed, a lot of talent. Jamie does his thing, he has a good shot and I try to do my thing. It's been working so far and hopefully we have more coming." McGinn has two goals and an assist. Toronto will play without forward Nikolai Kulemin due to an ankle injury. The Leafs last started 3-0-0 in 2011-12, and that winning streak came to an end in a 3-2 overtime home loss to Colorado on Oct. 17, 2011 - the last time these teams met. Toronto's latest 4-0-0 start came the previous season. The Avalanche are 2-0-0 for the first time since 2009-10, with the franchise's last 3-0-0 start coming in 1994-95 as the Quebec Nordiques.
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