TORONTO — Two of the NHL’s more skilled teams weren’t interested in a back-and-forth offensive battle on Wednesday. The Avalanche held Toronto to just 18 shots, defeating the Maple Leafs 2-1 in the shootout at Scotiabank Arena.

Superstar forward Nathan MacKinnon saw his five-game goal-scoring streak come to an end but scored the lone shootout goal for Colorado, which has won three straight games. He also extended his point streak to nine games by assisting on the Avs’ regulation goal.

“He’s a world-class player,” goaltender Alexandar Georgiev said of Colorado’s leading point producer.

The Avs (38-22-6, 82 points) pulled within two points of the Minnesota Wild and five of the Dallas Stars for the top seed in the Central Division. They have a game in hand of the Wild, who take on the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night, and two games in hand of the idle Stars.

“We have some games in hand here on Minny and Dallas,” said superstar Mikko Rantanen, who scored his 44th goal of the season in the first period. “I try not to look at it too much. Try to gather some points here and catch somebody.”

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Like the past two games, The Avalanche continued to play a throttling defensive game. Their relentless forecheck and a strong commitment to checking has led to excellent shot impression. On Saturday, Colorado held the Arizona Coyotes to just 20 shots. Two nights later in Montreal, the Canadiens had just 19 shots on the Avs before Toronto finished with 18 through 65 minutes. It’s been an impressive stretch of defensive hockey, especially given the injury to two-way forward Artturi Lehkonen in Montreal.

“It’s just commitment and hard work and just paying attention to the details,” head coach Jared Bednar said of Colorado’s defensive efforts. “When we play with that type of commitment and dedication to the checking side of things, we’re pretty good at it. You look at our lineup and we had a little bit of a shaky start where we’re given up some good scoring chances in the first period and then we tightened it up after that and the game became much more balanced.

Georgiev was solid despite facing minimal shots. His best saves were a second-period stop on a two-on-one attack from Mitch Marner and Calle Jarnkrok and a pad save on William Nylander off the rush midway through the third period. Georgiev faced just 11 shots in the final two periods and overtime, combined.

“It’s a little different, I wouldn’t say harder or anything,” Georgiev said. “You just try to be in the moment and anticipate the play, the same as usual.”

Georgiev’s victory was his 30th of the season, becoming the third Avalanche goalie in three years to reach the 30-win plateau.

Trailing 1-0 after an early Morgan Rielly wrist shot, the Avalanche continued to generate opportunities, eventually drawing a slashing penalty on Leafs defender Mark Giordano. Toronto successfully killed nearly 90 seconds of the penalty before Rantanen scored. Colorado’s leading scorer accepted a pass from defenseman Cale Makar and sent a pass that deflected off Toronto defender Jake McCabe and past goalie Ilya Samsonov. The Avs had four more power-play opportunities but were unable to capitalize, finishing 1-for-5 on the man advantage.

The overtime period was a 4-0 shot advantage for the Avalanche, they finished the game with a 29-18 lead in shots. Toronto’s best opportunity in overtime went off the crossbar. In the shootout, Georgiev stopped all three of Toronto’s shooters in Auston Matthews, Nylander and Marner.