The Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche are breathing sighs of relief after avoiding winless three-game starts.

The Avalanche have won their last four visits to Toronto as they seek to keep the Maple Leafs winless at home Tuesday night.

Both teams began the season with consecutive regulation defeats before winning their third contests.

Toronto (1-2-0) won 6-3 over the Rangers on Sunday as the top line of Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk combined for nine points – seven in a five-goal second period.

”This was a step in the right direction,” van Riemsdyk said. ”We’re a team that needs contributions from all four lines, and we had that.”

Colorado (1-2-0) was shut out by Minnesota in its first two games before winning 2-1 at Boston on Monday in thrilling fashion. Daniel Briere scored the winning goal off a rebound with less than a second left for the 300th of his career.

“It’s one of those things that I’m probably going to appreciate more when my career is over,” Briere said. “Right now I think the big thing is getting the victory. It’s been, like I said, a rough start for the first two games.”

The Maple Leafs now seek to avoid dropping three straight at home to start a season for the first time since beginning 0-4-2 in 2009-10. That’s why coach Randy Carlyle wasn’t too excited by the strong effort in New York.

“We’re not going to take too much enjoyment in it when we still have some areas which we need to improve on and we’re gonna continue to push for that,” Carlyle said.

It’s not certain who will start in goal for either team.

Toronto’s James Reimer made 24 saves Sunday before being leaving with 13:17 remaining after being struck in the head during a collision with the Rangers’ Dominic Moore. …read more