DENVER -

Phil Kessel is as elusive off the ice as he is on it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs center has been in high demand since he started piling up the points, but getting him to speak postgame might be tougher than stopping him with the puck.

Lately, it is darn near impossible to contain him on the ice -- as the Colorado Avalanche found out Tuesday night.

Kessel scored two goals, left winger James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist, and the surging Maple Leafs held off Colorado 5-2 for their sixth straight win.

Leafs center Nazem Kadri also scored, and Toronto goaltender James Reimer made 35 saves.

The Maple Leafs are on their first six-game winning streak since Dec. 23, 2005-Jan. 2, 2006. They scored at least four goals for the fifth time during the current run.

"There's a lot more life in the room," Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf said. "We've got a confidence in our dressing room that we feel good about ourselves."

Center Nathan MacKinnon had two goals for Colorado.

Kessel is playing a big part in Toronto's streak. He has six goals and eight assists in the six games, and he nearly had his second hat trick of the season against the Avalanche.

"With Phil, if he continues to get chances, he's got a history behind him and he knows how to score goals," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said.

After another stellar performance, Kessel made a rare appearance in the locker room and joked about shunning the spotlight.

"Hi, Phil Kessel from Madison, Wisconsin," he said.

He then attempted to deflect attention away from himself.

"We're winning, that's the most important thing," he said.

Kessel, who extended his points streak to seven games, put Toronto ahead 1-0 just 3:56 into the game.

Phaneuf's long pass went off the back boards in the Colorado zone. Kessel got behind the Avalanche defense, gathered the puck and beat goalie Semyon Varlamov with a soft shot from in close.

"I couldn't get it to him up the middle, the D-man was there, so I thought I'd try to bank it, and it bounced to him," Phaneuf said. "He recognized what I was doing. He's got that great speed, and he showed it right there."

Later in the period, van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 on the power play with his 20th of the season.

Toronto put it away early in the second period with goals 2:22 apart. Kadri redirected defenseman Jake Gardiner's shot from the point to make it 3-0 and end Varlamov's night.

Varlamov allowed three goals on just 10 shots.

"I think Varly was just a bit tired," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "I almost took him out after the first period. I didn't see in him the same energy that he's shown since the start of the year. When he gave up that third goal, there's no need to push that."

Goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who had not played since allowing four goals against the Calgary Flames two weeks ago, came on. Kessel scored his 26th goal of the season minutes later to give Toronto a 4-0 lead.

Giguere made 19 saves in relief of Varlamov.

The Avalanche finally broke through when MacKinnon took a pass from right winger P.A. Parenteau on a two-on-one and beat Reimer.

Colorado started the third period with the first eight shots on goal, and MacKinnon cashed in on one with 14:53 left to make it 4-2.