The goalie did his part -- again.Jonathan Bernier
earned second star honours, stopping 31 of the 33 shots he faced from the Colorado Avalanche, but this time his spectacular effort wasn't enough.
Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the second period, his Toronto Maple Leafs suffered their first defeat of the season
, losing 2-1. It is Toronto's first of three consecutive games against Western Conference teams. The Maple Leafs are in Nashville Thursday and then welcome former Marlies coach Dallas Eakins and his Edmonton Oilers Saturday night.
"You want your goaltenders to give you a chance to win and our guys have done that to the max this year," said Maple Leafs centre Tyler Bozak. "We know they're going to keep doing it for us. We're 3-1 so it's a good start to the season. I don't think many of you guys would have called us having that record this early in the season."
Bernier was shocked on Colorado's first goal, scored by defenceman Cory Sarich. Playing in his 918th career game, it was just his 21st goal. The right-handed shooting defender cut in off the right boards and fired a high shot to the short side. It was a one in a million shot. The second goal bounced off P.A. Parenteau's leg and in.
Bernier felt he should have had the Sarich goal.
"He made a good shot, but that is definitely a save I have to make," Bernier said. "It's a routine save. That's a goal I want to take back. There was a guy open back door, so I was expecting the pass, but it's a save I have to make for my team."GETTING TO KNOW BERNIER
: Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul said he didn't know much about Jonathan Bernier before he was acquired by Toronto.
"Even when I played in Anaheim it always seemed to be Jonathan Quick in net when we played the Kings," Lupul said. "I knew he was highly-touted and from talking to guys I knew on the Kings, they had nothing but good things to say about him. They told me if he was anywhere else he'd probably be a No. 1 goalie. He has given us a chance to win every time he has been in there and has been spectacular at times."BOUNCING BABY BOY:
Centre Jay McClement missed the game to attend the birth of his new baby, a son.WELCOME TO TORONTO:
Nathan MacKinnon, the first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft got a rude awakening on his first shift of the game when he was rocked by Toronto's Colton Orr as he skated out of the Colorado zone with the puck. It was a clean hit, but the kind that usually leads to a fight when a team's young star is the victim, The Avalanche didn't respond.THE LINE ON MACKINNON:
The NHL's top draft pick in 2013 skated 17 shifts against Toronto; had 10:28 ice time with one shot on goal, three hits, two giveaways
and one takeaway.LEAFS BY THE NUMBERS:
Toronto's 5-4 shootout victory over Ottawa Saturday was the organization's 2,700th win. Toronto has played 6,171 games since the franchise was formed in 1917.WHO ARE THESE GUYS?:
Prior to Tuesday's game against Colorado, the Maple Leafs had not faced a Western Conference opponent since Feb. 29, 2012 when they lost 5-4 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season, following the lockout, teams only played against opponents from within their own conference.HAPPY 75TH:
Walter Gretzky celebrated his 75th birthday Tuesday and was serenaded by 19,388 fans at the Air Canada Centre who sang Happy Birthday to him.IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED...:
Right winger Carter Ashton, playing in his 18th career NHL game, finally got his first point - an assist on Joffrey Lupul's goal
that gave Toronto a 1-0 lead in the second period.
"At the time the goal put us up, so it definitely would have felt better if we were able to hang on for the win," Ashton said. "You want to contribute any way you can. It was a pretty simple play. It was just getting the puck to the net and Joffrey did the rest of the work banging it in."LIFE OF RIELLY:
Morgan Rielly, 19, struggled a bit in his first NHL game Saturday, but looked much better Tuesday against the Avalanche, particularly in the third period. With his team trailing by a goal, he made two excellent rushes deep into the Colorado zone. He didn't score, but his aggressive play drew helped draw an Avalanche penalty for tripping him.
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