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NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Toronto



(Thursday, March 11th)

Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Toronto 2

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Aleksey Morozov scored a goal and assisted on another to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 win over Toronto at Air Canada Centre.

Ric Jackman and Rico Fata recorded the other two tallies for the Penguins, who won their fourth in a row and sixth in the last nine games (6-2-1) after 18 straight losses (0-17-0-1). Dick Tarnstrom notched two assists in the win, as the Penguins snapped a five-game losing streak to the Maple Leafs.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin started in net for Pittsburgh and made 11 saves on 12 shots in the first period, before leaving with an unspecified knee injury. Sebastien Caron came on in relief and made 33 saves in the final two periods, facing 26 shots in the third.

"When you hear a lot of the same things, whether it's pre-game shows or in the media about what you have to do to beat the Penguins, to just show up, believe me we're all professionals," Penguins head coach Eddie Olczyk said. "We deserve a little bit more. Forget me, my players deserve a lot more respect than that."

Joe Nieuwendyk and Mats Sundin scored for Toronto, which concluded a six-game homestand with a 4-2 mark. Trevor Kidd faced only 17 shots, but made just 14 saves in the losing effort.

"The kind of bonehead plays we made it would have been a challenge for anybody," Toronto head coach Pat Quinn said. "We can't have those things happen at this time of the year. We carried the play all night long and made three poor plays to give up goals."

The Maple Leafs fell out of first place in the Northeast Division, as Boston moved one point in front with a 3-2 overtime win at Buffalo.

"We can't give away games like we did," Sundin said.

Ron Francis made his debut for the Leafs after being traded from Carolina on Tuesday. Francis managed just one shot on goal in 12 minutes of ice time.

The 26 shots in the final period by Toronto were a season high, as they entered the final 20 minutes trailing by two at 3-1.

Sundin brought the Maple Leafs within a goal at the 13:54 mark of the third with his 27th of the season. The Toronto forward collected a loose puck in the Penguins' zone off a failed clearing attempt by Jackman. Sundin gathered it between the circles and backhanded a shot that beat Caron under his glove.

Sundin had an opportunity two minutes later to tie the score, but his slap shot from the right circle went wide as Caron was being screened by Toronto forward Owen Nolan.

Toronto pulled Kidd with 90 seconds remaining to get an extra skater on the ice and again Sundin came close to scoring the equalizer. Alexander Mogilny fired a shot on net that Caron initially deflected with his left leg pad. Sundin, who had skated to the doorstep, tried to flip the rebound attempt over Caron's shoulder, but the goaltender swatted it away with his glove hand with 15 seconds remaining.

The Penguins immediately cleared the puck to seal the victory.

"We're finding ways to win games," Olczyk said. "In our (losing) streak we weren't getting very good goaltending and our penalty killing wasn't very good. Now our goaltending has been superb and our penalty killing has been excellent."

Jackman put the Penguins up 1-0 on the power play 6:23 into the game, as he took a pass from Kraft between the circles and wristed a shot that beat Kidd stick-side.

The Maple Leafs answered to tie it at 1-1 with 4:24 left in the opening period, as Nolan skated down the right boards and fired a shot on net. Nieuwendyk, who was skating toward the crease, stuck out his stick and redirected it under Aubin's right leg pad for a power-play tally.

Fata gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 edge 1:17 into the second period as he took a pass in the right circle from Morozov and wristed a shot that beat Kidd stick-side.

The Penguins went up by two goals with 3:50 remaining in the period on Morozov's marker. Morozov picked up a loose puck in the middle of the right circle in the Toronto zone and wheeled around to fire a wrister on net that beat Kidd through the five-hole.

The Penguins improved to 9-4-2-1 when leading after two periods this season.

Game Notes

Jackman scored his sixth goal as a Penguin in just 14 games and has recorded at least a point in 11 of 14 games for Pittsburgh this season...The Maple Leafs lost at home for only the third time in the last eight contests (5-3)...The Penguins have won three straight road games.

03/12 00:33:36 ET


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