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(Wednesday, January 23rd)
Final Score: Toronto 5, Pittsburgh 2
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - James van Riemsdyk netted two goals and one assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat Pittsburgh, 5-2, and spoil the Pens' home opener at CONSOL Energy Center.
"It's always nice when you have a conversation with a player and he comes out and scores two goals and has a three-point night," Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said about his budding star. "It wasn't to criticize the player; he understood it. It's not like he's been terrible, it's just that he needed to step up his game."
Clarke MacArthur, Mikhail Grabovski and Tyler Bozak also tallied for the Maple Leafs, who were coming off a 2-1 home loss to Buffalo on Monday.
Nikolai Kulemin added three assists to back a 28-save performance from James Reimer.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored once each for the Penguins, who opened the year with two road wins over Atlantic Division foes. Marc-Andre Fleury was charged with all five goals on 24 shots.
Grabovski's slapper from the right circle pushed Toronto's edge to 4-2 at the 5:18 mark of the third period.
Any hope of a Pittsburgh comeback was muted when Crosby was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct call on top of a bench minor inside of two minutes remaining. Bozak capped the scoring with a two-man advantage score in the slot with 61 seconds to play.
"Our penalty kill was very good again tonight, stuck in an extended period of 5-on-3 in the second period. They gave us a chance," said Penguins head coach Dan Byslma. "Two goals were (the result of) poor management with the puck. The third goal we put it on their tape. (It's) not where we need to be to have success."
Pittsburgh converted its second power-play chance of the first period when Malkin beat Reimer through the pads on a one-timer from the goal line on the right side with 1:09 left.
MacArthur tipped in a centering feed from Nazem Kadri to tie the game at 3:09 of the second period, then van Riemsdyk put Toronto ahead with a weak tap-in of a Kulemin pass less than seven minutes in.
Crosby was sprung on a breakaway by Pascal Dupuis and he beat Reimer through the legs to tie the game at 7:17.
Toronto had a two-man edge for 50 seconds at the midway point but failed to convert either portion of the power play. Nonetheless, van Riemsdyk picked off a Malkin pass and snapped home his second of the game for a 3-2 Leafs lead at 14:34.
Van Riemsdyk recorded his first multi-goal effort since a 5-4 win over Chicago on Jan. 5, 2012 when he played for the Flyers ... Wednesday's three-point performance was his most since recording three points in a 9-2 Philadelphia win over Columbus on Nov. 5, 2011 ... Pittsburgh has lost two of three home openers since moving from Mellon Arena in 2010 ... The three-goal difference snapped a streak of six straight games between the teams that were decided by one goal ... Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul left the game in the second period after taking a slash on the right wrist from Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik and did not return.
01/24 01:16:02 ET
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