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game recap

Penguins 4, Maple Leafs 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Penguins 4, Maple Leafs 1
Toronto Maple Leafs 1, Pittsburgh Penguins 4

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Sidney Crosby's over here, Evgeni Malkin's over there. There's one way to lose consistently to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and that's give them too many chances on the power play.

The Toronto Maple Leafs did that, and with a predictable result.

Sergei Gonchar scored the go-ahead goal and set up another by Malkin and the Penguins scored three power-play goals, ending a five-game losing streak by beating the penalty-prone Maple Leafs 4-1 Friday night.

Crosby ended a two-game scoreless streak by assisting on three goals, giving him an NHL-leading 58 points in 34 games and 26 points in December. The 19-year-old Crosby has had only one streak of three games without a point since coming into the league last season.

The Maple Leafs, with former Penguins goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin in goal, lost in Pittsburgh for the first time in eight games since Nov. 1, 2001, mostly because they gave Pittsburgh 10 power-play chances.

"We just can't stay out of the penalty box," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said.

The Penguins have scored five power-play goals in two games since breaking out of a 2-for-35 slump with the man advantage.

Or, as in the case of Gonchar's sixth goal, a two-man advantage. With Bryan McCabe and Mats Sundin off after drawing penalties 16 seconds apart, Gonchar powered a one-timer from the point off Aubin's blocker and into the net. It was Gonchar's first goal and first point since his two-goal, five-point game Dec. 13 against Philadelphia.

"They've got a great power play, and if you give them a bunch of chances they're going to put it in," Aubin said. "They've got a bunch of good players, and they make plays."

The Maple Leafs, playing without forward Darcy Tucker (bruised foot), lost their fourth in five games despite Mats Sundin's 16th goal - the only one of their 31 shots to get past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Sundin's 36th goal in 47 career games against Pittsburgh was the 512th of his career, tying him with Gil Perreault for 31st place in NHL history.

Gonchar's goal came less than a minute in the third period and made it 2-1. About 6 minutes later, with Pittsburgh on another power play, Gonchar faked a slap shot from the point and slid the puck to Malkin to the side of the net for the rookie's 18th goal.

"We made it a goal to shoot more (on the power play), because when you shooting you're creating a lot of scoring chances," Gonchar said. "I talked to the coach (Michel Therrien) and that's what we concentrated on. He told me to put the puck on the net more and that's my goal from now on."

Sundin was unhappy with the hooking call given him, but said that didn't explain Toronto's 13 penalties or why they the Leafs are an uncommonly low 22nd in penalty killing.

"The call on me was not a penalty, I was reaching for the puck," Sundin said of his hooking penalty. "That being said, you can't commit that many penalties. I thought we played a good game 5-on-5, but when you take that many penalties, even if you play well 5-om-5, they're going to score 5-on-3 or 5-on-4."

And they did. Erik Christensen had given Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead for the second game in a row, this time in the final minute of the first period with a shot from along the goal line off Crosby's feed.

"We had to play 60 minutes, too, and we did tonight," Crosby said. "We hadn't played 60 minutes in a long time and that was our focus, take it a period at a time. It made a difference because every period we were playing intense and playing physical. And those are fun games to win."

Pittsburgh will go into the next year with a 16-15-6 record, the latest in a season it has been above .500 since last making the playoffs in 2000-01.

Notes: Toronto had won nine of its last 10 against Pittsburgh. ... Fleury had been 0-2-1 in four career games against Toronto. ... Sundin has six goals and eight assists in his last nine games. ... Aubin, who played from Pittsburgh from 1998-2004, won his only previous start against his former team. ... The Maple Leafs swept the four-game season series against Pittsburgh last season. ... Penguins F Nils Ekman left early in the game with a possibly severe elbow injury. His condition was not immediately updated.

scoring summary
1st Period
19:24
PIT
PPG - Erik Christensen (7) ASST: Sidney Crosby (39), Michel Ouellet (10)
1 - 0 PIT
2nd Period
10:40
TOR
Mats Sundin (16) ASST: Boyd Devereaux (1), Bates Battaglia (10)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
00:53
PIT
PPG - Sergei Gonchar (6) ASST: Sidney Crosby (40), Evgeni Malkin (18)
2 - 1 PIT
06:54
PIT
PPG - Evgeni Malkin (18) ASST: Sergei Gonchar (23), Sidney Crosby (41)
3 - 1 PIT
12:57
PIT
Jordan Staal (11) ASST: NONE
4 - 1 PIT
penalty summary
1st Period
02:38
TOR
Kris Newbury  Tripping against  Dominic Moore
04:22
TOR
Matt Stajan  Hooking against  Brooks Orpik
05:46
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Cross checking against  Alexander Steen
05:46
TOR
Alexander Steen  Hooking against  Sidney Crosby
15:38
PIT
Michel Ouellet  Too many men/ice - bench
18:31
TOR
Carlo Colaiacovo  Slashing against  Sidney Crosby
2nd Period
00:53
PIT
Evgeni Malkin  Hi-sticking against  Bryan McCabe
03:14
TOR
Bryan McCabe  Holding against  Sidney Crosby
04:35
PIT
Michel Ouellet  Hi-sticking against  Matt Stajan
06:49
PIT
Jarkko Ruutu  Fighting (maj) against  Ben Ondrus
06:49
TOR
Ben Ondrus  Fighting (maj) against  Jarkko Ruutu
17:12
TOR
John Pohl  Holding against  Sergei Gonchar
18:30
PIT
Jarkko Ruutu  Too many men/ice - bench
20:00
TOR
Bryan McCabe  Tripping against  Maxime Talbot
3rd Period
00:16
TOR
Mats Sundin  Hooking against  Jordan Staal
05:01
TOR
Pavel Kubina  Throwing stick
06:07
TOR
Chad Kilger  Roughing against  Ryan Malone
06:07
PIT
Ryan Malone  Roughing against  Chad Kilger
07:13
PIT
Alain Nasreddine  Tripping against  Boyd Devereaux
14:08
PIT
Evgeni Malkin  Hooking against  John Pohl
14:45
TOR
Matt Stajan  Holding against  Maxime Talbot
17:37
TOR
Boyd Devereaux  Hooking against  Jarkko Ruutu
goalie stats
Jean-Sebastien Aubin
SA: 30TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 13 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 11 - 14
SV%: .867SH: 2 - 2
Marc-Andre Fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 31TOI: 59:58
Saves: 30EV: 23 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .968SH: 1 - 1
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