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Maple Leafs Bury Sloppy Penguins, 5-0



PITTSBURGH  — The Pittsburgh Penguins continued to reject home cooking. In fact, Toronto Maple Leafs fans made themselves comfortable as “Go Leafs, Go” and “Crosby Sucks” chants echoed through the Penguins home arena. By the end, the Penguins and their fans barely mustered a whisper against the Toronto invasion and the Maple Leafs easily coasted to a 5-0 win at PPG Paints Arena, Saturday.

Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray was the Penguins lone bright spot.

Murray made several 10-bell saves in the first period, including a pair of blocker saves on rushing Toronto forwards. Murray quickly slid to his right to deny former Penguins prospect Kaspari Kapanen early in the first period. Later in the period, he robbed John Tavares with a reaching blocker save.

“If we’re not invested, we look ordinary. And that was the case tonight,” said Penguins Mike Sullivan who did not spare his team in the post-game press conference.

“I think we’ve been humbled,” Sullivan also said.

Toronto’s transition game widened their lead, seconds into the second period. Patrick Marleau (3) beat everyone to the front of the net as Kapanen raced down the right wing wall. Kapanen put the puck on Marleau’s stick. Marleau deked to the backhand, trucked Murray and put the puck across the line. 2-0 Toronto.

Toronto again raced past the Penguins a few minutes later. On the power-play, Toronto defenseman Morgan Reilly sneaked behind everyone on the rush and ripped a glove high shot past Murray. 3-0.


There was some drama six minutes into the second period. Murray let the ice and was replaced by backup Casey DeSmith. DeSmith made two saves in three minutes.

Nothing could spark the Penguins who were slightly outshot 13-9 in the first period but buried in the second period, 17-9. The Penguins did mount something of a charge to begin the third period, but a few times failed to get the second-chance shot on net against a fallen Frederik Andersen. The Penguins outshot Toronto 11-1 in the first 15 minutes of the period, but Toronto was content to defend.

“We got outworked,” said Matt Cullen.

The new bouncy boards gave Toronto one last scoring chance. On a power-play with just over four minutes remaining, a wide shot caromed hard off the end wall to the opposite side. Reilly (6) was waiting for it. Murray could only dive in desperation. 4-0.

The Maple Leafs added a shorthanded goal— on a 2-on-1, naturally—as Zach Hyman’s shot banked in off of Patric Hornqvist to finish off the scoring.

Toronto took away the scoring zones and confined the Penguins to the perimeter. More in the Penguins Analysis and Report Card.

Anderson made 31 saves. Murray stopped 26 of 31.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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3 years ago

That was an a$$ whopping. The first two Pens PP were the epitome of playing pretty hockey which typically leads to a fail. Toronto pressured 81 along the boards which led to chaos among the PP. I think the Caps did the same in the playoffs with success. It will be worth watching to see if this becomes a trend vs other opponents. Team D took a night off. The win at Toronto doesn’t shine quite as bright now. A strong bounce back is needed. Go Pens.

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