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Penguins vs. Maple Leafs recap; Malkin and Fleury boost Pens to a win

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Thanks to a fast start and then some good goaltending the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 at home.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins got out to a fast start against the Toronto Maple Leafs and they would need it. Pittsburgh scored 2 goals in the first 6:38 and held on for a 2-1 win.

The goals

Evgeni Malkin ladies and gentlemen. Sensational effort by Geno who wasn't to be denied on this rush.

Then it was Olli Maatta 's turn to get his first goal since October 23, 2014.

Toronto took a timeout and really stabilized in the first and would score in the second after Pittsburgh had trouble in transition again this season (no GIF available but sorry).

Some thoughts:

  • Chris Kunitz with a brutal turnover in the second period, leading to a primo chance against (he owes Marc-Andre Fleury a dinner). Tough times for Kunitz these days who's doing almost nothing offensively, and hurt the Pens defensively here.
  • Speaking of slumping wingers, Patric Hornqvist was denied his first goal (or point) in the second. Nothing going well right now for him seemingly. Beast play by PH72 to negate an icing with 1:20 left in the game though, he's still grinding out there as always.
  • Root Sports fail in the 3rd period. Not like it was a close game at the most important time or anything. Technical difficulties happen but we're spoiled in 2015 and that's a tough go.
  • The Pens power play continues to struggle. 0 for 5 tonight and still no PP goals on the season. Incredible, considering the talent they have out there.
  • The penalty kill at least went 4-4 to keep the Pens even in the special teams battle.
  • Solid game from Fleury, in his career 600th NHL game. 26 saves on 27 shots, it's been a very consistent start for the year. He didn't have to be brilliant (Toronto was outshot 16-6 in the 3rd) but he did need to be steady and he was.
  • The "ride Kris Letang until the wheels fall off" 2015 tour is well underway, with 28:34 total played for Letang. Next highest was Ian Cole with 22:30 and then Dion Phaneuf leading Toronto with 22:25.
  • Malkin was the best player on the ice and had jump all night again. His play helped the team to the win, nice to see him playing well right now.

So it wasn't perfect and it wasn't pretty but a win is a win and the Pens push their record to 2-3-0 with now a modest two game winning streak, which hey, can't ask for more than that.