NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Toronto
(Monday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Toronto 3, Pittsburgh 2 (OT)
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Bryan McCabe scored 1:02 into overtime to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Air Canada Centre.
Chad Kilger scored twice, and Alex Steen and Mats Sundin each had two assists for the Maple Leafs, who have a season-high six-game winning streak.
Ed Belfour made 20 saves for Toronto, its second straight overtime victory against Pittsburgh. The Leafs beat the Penguins, 3-2, on December 27.
Sergei Gonchar and Michel Ouellet scored for the Penguins, who saw their attempt to win three consecutive games for the first time this season fall short. Jocelyn Thibault was brilliant in the first two periods, but faltered in the end and finished with 35 saves in the loss, Pittsburgh's seventh in nine games.
The Penguins tied the game late in the third period on Ouellet's goal, but fell on McCabe's 15th goal of the season.
Tomas Kaberle brought the puck into the Penguins zone and from the top of the right circle sent the puck to Kyle Wellwood at the top of the left circle. Wellwood let fly with a shot that was going to go wide of the net, but it hit McCabe in the chest, who was in the slot, and went into the net.
Toronto was down 1-0 going into the third period, but two goals by Kilger separated by 2:49 gave the Leafs the advantage.
Steen took a drop pass from Sundin and skated behind the net. Steen threw a pass from the right side to the slot, where it was picked up by Kilger. Kilger gathered the puck and sent a wrist shot that went into the upper right corner of the net for his fifth goal of the season just 1:15 in.
The Leafs then took a 2-1 lead on a similar play. Steen took the puck behind the net but was knocked off the puck. However, Sundin picked it up and from deep along the boards on the right side of the net sent a centering pass to Kilger in the slot. This time, though, he sent a backhander on net that beat Thibault over his glove with 15:56 to play.
"I was just lucky enough to be open in front for those goals," said Kilger.
However, the Penguins tied it on Ouellet's fifth goal of the season. Zigmund Palffy dug the puck out of a scrum on a right circle face off, skated along the boards and crept out to the side of the net. He sent a pass across the goal mouth to Ouellet, who smacked it in from the left side with 4:39 to play in regulation.
The Penguins drew first blood in the game at the 5:47 mark of the opening period. Sidney Crosby sent a no-look behind the back pass from low in the left circle to the slot, where Palffy got it and sent a shot on net. Belfour made the save, but Gonchar was right there and put the rebound in for his sixth goal of the season.
"We played a little bit of a trap tonight," said Crosby. We have to play a defensive game in order to get as many offensive chances as possible."
Toronto poured it on in the second period, outshooting Pittsburgh 17-6. The Leafs had three power plays, including 38 seconds of 5-on-3 play, but were unable to put any pucks past Thibault.
Pittsburgh continues its three-game road trip at Montreal on Tuesday...The Maple Leafs start a three-game road trip at Calgary on Friday...McCabe has a six-game point streak with four goals and three assists during the run...Pittsburgh has lost seven straight on the road and is 4-11-3 as the visitors this season...Crosby, who had one assist in the game, has six goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak. Crosby, the 2005 first overall draft pick, played his first regular season game in Canada...This was the first game Toronto won when trailing going into the third period. The Leafs are now 1-11-2 this season in that situation...Toronto forward Darcy Tucker left the game early in the third period with bruised ribs, and will get an MRI on Tuesday.
01/02 22:52:00 ET