Maple Leafs vs Penguins coverage - Maple Leafs vs Penguins boxscore - Pension Plan Puppets
A lot has been made on the face Pittsburgh has been on the receiving end of meeting a lot of opponents on the second night of back-to-back games. But with the Penguins coming off a three day holiday break, perhaps Toronto wasn't at a disadvantage on the backend of two games. Pittsburgh has had some trouble against Toronto, winning just 2 of 6 games against the "Sons of 67" dating back to the start of the 2008-09 season.
Luke Schenn opened the scoring with his first of the season past a screened Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Cooke would tie the game shooting on a 2 on 1 break before Lee Stempniak buried the bounce of a Tomas Kaberle shot. In the second period Sidney Crosby tied the game on the power-play but later Jason Blake put Toronto up 3-2. In the third Fleury made several solid stops and Mike Rupp tied the game at 3 with a goal at 17:45. Pens fans were hardly in their seats when Ian White got the game-winner with a slapper. 4-3 and that's the game.
- For the 11th time in the past 15 games Evgeni Malkin found his way to the penalty box, this time for a hooking call. Malkin assisted on the Rupp goal, but the Stempniak goal was scored on his penalty and he really needs to stop taking those needless ones.
- Stempniak went 1g and 2a on a nice night, White was 1 and 1 for the Leafs, a couple of guys that came up big.
- Tyler Kennedy was a surprise healthy scratch as Dan Bylsma decided to dress Eric Godard to match the Leafs truculence. But there would be no fights and Godard would only 3:28 on 3 shifts which leads one to wonder what his purpose for dressing really was.
- Crosby had a good game: another goal, 3 shots on net, 24:25 played, 3 hits, 3 giveaways but 2 takeaways, 1 blocked shot and a winner of 18 of 28 faceoffs (64%).
- Bill Guerin continued his recent trend of putting pucks to the net with 9 total shots attempted; 4 reached the target, 1 was blocked and 4 missed the net.
- The Alex Goligoski and Jay McKee tandem were a -2 a piece, which is never a good sign.
So the Pens drop the first game in a stretch of three games in four nights. The Leafs played a strong game, as is their habit against Pittsburgh and deserved the two points. The Penguins now hit the road for a game Tuesday in Buffalo before traveling to New Jersey; two teams the Pens scored a combined 2 goals against in 125 minutes last week. Holiday is over and it's time to get back to work.