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Leafs win 7 straight for 1st time in 20 years

Michael Martin / National Hockey League / Getty

Tyler Bertuzzi celebrated his 29th birthday in style with a hat trick as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 on Saturday.

The Maple Leafs have won seven consecutive games for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.

Bertuzzi is the first player in Maple Leafs history to record a hat trick on his birthday. He had one goal in his previous 23 games.

"Felt good," Bertuzzi said, according to Sportsnet's Luke Fox. "That was a great road trip for us, collecting eight points. And being able to go home on that note was awesome."

"I mean, look at the type of goals he scored here tonight. He's been getting those shots and those chances all season long, and the puck hasn't fallen for him," head coach Sheldon Keefe said. "So that's why you just kind of stay with it. And obviously, we've increased his opportunity to get even more of those types of looks. Thrilled for him."

Toronto began the win streak with defenseman Morgan Rielly out of the lineup due to suspension. The veteran rearguard - who returned Thursday versus the Vegas Golden Knights - said he felt pressure coming back amid the team's run of form.

"I was definitely nervous about coming in because the team was rolling," he said. "So that was a little nerve-racking. I'm grateful we got two wins."

Ilya Samsonov made 26 saves as he won his sixth consecutive start. Mitch Marner tallied a goal and an assist as his point streak reached nine games.

Toronto won 10 games to commence the 1993-94 campaign, which stands as the longest streak in team history.

The Maple Leafs will look to match the eight-game win streak from 2003-04 on Tuesday against the Golden Knights.

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