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Bozak nets hat trick in 3rd period, Komarov has 2 goals as Maple Leafs beat Avalanche 7-4

DENVER — Tyler Bozak scored three times in the third period and the Toronto Maple Leafs broke loose for four goals in the final 20 minutes to beat the Colorado Avalanche 7-4 on Monday night.

Leo Komarov had two goals and an assist, James van Riemsdyk added a goal and two assists, and Joffrey Lupul scored one of three power-play goals that helped Toronto stop Colorado's five-game winning streak.

Defenceman Jake Gardiner had four assists for the Maple Leafs, who are 4-0-2 in their last six games.

Bozak got the winner when he joined a 2-on-1 rush with van Riemsdyk. Bozak took a pass from van Riemsdyk, and goalie Semyon Varlamov made the initial save but the puck trickled through his legs and over the line 49 seconds into the period.

Bozak scored on a breakaway at 6:47 to put Toronto ahead 5-3, and van Riemsdyk finished the flurry with his 11th at 10:40. Bozak finished his hat trick with an empty-net goal at 16:20.

Jack Skille scored twice and Erik Johnson and John Mitchell also had goals for Colorado. Varlamov, who carried a 0.99 goals-against average while winning six straight, allowed six goals on 21 shots.

Toronto's power play is at 14.6 per cent against the rest of the NHL but 87.5 per cent versus Colorado this season. The Maple Leafs went 4 of 5 with the man advantage when the teams met Nov. 17 and they built on that Monday.

Komarov's first goal tied the game at 1 at 13:34 of the first and preceded Lupul's power-play goal 4:08 later to give the Maple Leafs a 2-1 lead.

Colorado tied it 1:07 into the second when Mitchell scored on a backhander in front of Jonathan Bernier, but Komarov's second goal of the game and 15th of the season — and Toronto's third power-play goal of the night — made it 3-2.

The Avalanche didn't generate a shot on their first two power-play chances, but made their first one count on the third opportunity. Johnson pinched down on the left side, took a crossing pass from Gabriel Landeskog and beat Bernier with a one-timer to tie it at 18:43 of the second.

It was Johnson's sixth goal of the season.

NOTES: Colorado D Nate Guenin left in the second period with a head injury. ... Varlamov was selected the NHL's top star for the week that ended Sunday. He went 3-0-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average, .981 save percentage and one shutout.

The Associated Press

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