NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Pittsburgh
(Tuesday, January 31st)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 5, Toronto 4 (SO)
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Evgeni Malkin netted the game-tying goal with 6.6 seconds left in the third period and then notched the game-winner in the shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to take a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Matt Cooke, Steve Sullivan and Joe Vitale also scored for the Penguins, who stretched the season-long winning streak to eight games. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35-of-39 shots to take the win in the opener of a home-and-home set against Toronto.
"I guess you got to win a lot of different ways, but I'm not sure we deserved the fate we got tonight," Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said. "We'll take the win."
Earlier on Tuesday, Pittsburgh announced captain Sidney Crosby has a soft tissue injury in his neck, but an independent specialist found no evidence of a past or present neck fracture. The Penguins said doctors believe Crosby is safe, that his injury is treatable and that he will return to playing when he is symptom-free.
Mikail Grabovski had two goals and an assist, while Tyler Bozak and Clarke MacArthur also scored for Toronto, which lost for the fifth time in their last eight games.
Jonas Gustavsson allowed all four goals on 35 shots in the loss.
Toronto held a 2-1 lead entering the third period and two goals in a 19-second span stretched their lead to 4-1.
The first came off the stick of Bozak while on the power play at the 6:18 mark when he ripped a slap shot from the right circle into the top-right corner. Then, Jake Gardiner tipped the puck away from Pittsburgh's Paul Martin inside the Penguins zone before sending a cross-ice pass to MacArthur, who tipped the puck past Fleury 6:37 into the third period.
But less than two minutes later, Sullivan raced down the right side of the ice on a breakaway before ripping a slap shot from the top of the right circle past the glove of Gustavsson.
Vitale closed the gap even more with 4:59 left in regulation when a Toronto offensive zone turnover led to Pascal Dupuis' shot from the left circle. Gustavsson made the save and then an initial save on Vitale's rebound, but his second attempt snuck just inside the right post.
It looked like the Maple Leafs would sneak away with the win as time was winding down in the game, but with Pittsburgh pressing in the offensive zone with an extra attacker, James Neal took a slap shot from the right circle that bounced off Malkin's left shoulder in the goal crease and deflected into the net with 6.6 seconds left in regulation.
Gustavsson made four saves in overtime and Fleury stopped three shots in the extra period to force the shootout.
"Tough loss," said Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul. "We had the game and then we let them back in."
Two quick goals by Grabovski in the second period broke a scoreless tie and gave Toronto a 2-0 lead.
The first came at the 6:51 mark of the middle stanza when Dion Phaneuf settled with the puck behind the Penguins net and sent a pass the right of the goal, where Grabovski slid a shot under the left pad of Fleury.
Just over three minutes later, MacArthur sat at the right point and fed a pass to a streaking Grabovski, who ripped a hard wrister into the top-left corner from the right circle.
But Cooke redirected a Martin snap shot from the left point past Gustavsson with 3:53 left in the second to make it a 2-1 game after two.
Toronto had a Bozack goal waived off in the first period for goaltender interference...Pittsburgh has now won the first game following the All-Star break in five straight years...Pittsburgh improved to 15-7-2 at home, while Toronto fell to 11-11-2 as the guest.
01/31 23:30:25 ET