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Reimer, MacArthur Push Leafs Past Pens

Wednesday, 01.02.2012 / 11:04 PM / News
The Canadian Press
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Reimer, MacArthur Push Leafs Past Pens
TORONTO -- It didn't take the Toronto Maple Leafs long to make amends for their biggest collapse of the season.

James Reimer stopped all 25 shots he faced and Clarke MacArthur scored in the third period as the Maple Leafs edged the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 on Wednesday.

The game was low on style points, but that mattered little to a Leafs team only concerned with adding points in the Eastern Conference standings. They had squandered one of those a night earlier in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins erased a 4-1 deficit in the third period before pulling out a 5-4 shootout win.

It looked like another overtime period would be necessary on Wednesday until MacArthur took a pass from Mikhail Grabovski and deked around Brent Johnson at 13:55.

That was the only offence Toronto would need to improve its record to 26-19-6.

Pittsburgh fell to 29-18-4 after being shut out for just the second time this season.

Reimer was starting for just the second time in 14 games and spoke earlier in the day of wanting to regain the form that had slotted him as the team's No. 1 goalie entering the season. He made a good case for himself by registering his first shutout since opening night against Montreal back in October.

It was also a rare appearance for Johnson, who gave Marc-Andre Fleury a rest for just the second time in 19 games.

The game featured decidedly less energy than the teams displayed 24 hours earlier in Pittsburgh, when both coaches were left with some defensive concerns. The players clearly received the message.

Even with NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin on the ice, there were very few quality scoring chances at either end.

Pittsburgh did manage to get a puck over the goal-line early in the second period, but that goal was turned back because Chris Kunitz was ruled to have kicked it in. The Penguins generated more of the offence in the middle period, but Reimer kept it scoreless by denying Malkin twice from the side of the net.

Each team had a power play early in the third period but couldn't break through. The closest Pittsburgh came was a James Neal shot that rang off the post.

MacArthur's 16th goal of the season eventually broke the deadlock and helped the Leafs remain in playoff position.

Notes:
In 19 career games against the Leafs, Malkin has nine goals and 38 points ... Mike Komisarek and Jay Rosehill were scratched for the Maple Leafs ... Pittsburgh claimed centre Cal O'Reilly on waivers Wednesday but he didn't dress ... Announced attendance was 19,542.

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