|Date of game: 11/27/2013
Recap: Pittsburgh vs. Toronto
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Evgeni Malkin's second goal of the night tied the game in the third period, then both he and Sidney Crosby scored in the shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins earned a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at CONSOL Energy Center.
Pittsburgh trailed 4-1 early in the second period and 5-3 heading into the third before James Neal potted a power-play goal at 3:46 and Malkin followed just under four minutes later with his sixth of the season to tie the tilt.
Despite outshooting the Leafs 19-0 over the final 25 minutes, the Penguins were unable to push the go-ahead goal past Jonathan Bernier, forcing the game into a shootout.
After both shooters came up empty in the first round, Crosby skated in and got Bernier to commit early on a poke check before stuffing the disc into the net.
Rookie Jeff Zatkoff, in his first NHL shootout, then stoned David Clarkson before Malkin ended the game with a quick wrister past Bernier's blocker side.
"I think we knew we had a lot of time left and fortunately we stuck with it," Crosby said of the comeback. "Give everyone credit for sticking with it because that first 25 minutes was as ugly as it gets I think."
Malkin added his 24th assist of the season, while Kris Letang registered a goal and two assists and Neal notched a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who had dropped two straight.
Zatkoff stopped 11-of-13 shots in relief of starter Marc-Andre Fleury, who was pulled early in the second after giving up three goals on 11 shots.
James van Riemsdyk scored twice and added an assist for the Leafs, who have lost two straight, while Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri each lit the lamp once.
"It's disappointing that we had a 4-1 lead and that was the result," van Riemsdyk said.
Bernier allowed five goals on 48 shots in defeat.
Van Riemsdyk and Kessel scored 29 seconds apart less than a minute into the second off a pair of Letang turnovers to stake the Leafs to a 4-1 lead, but the Pittsburgh defenseman played a key role in the team's next two goals to get the Pens within one.
Both Pittsburgh goals came on the power play, with Letang setting up Malkin's one-timer from the right circle at 8:27 before adding his fifth of the season at 15:20 to make it a 4-3 game.
However, Bozak stuffed home a rebound try from the low right side with under five seconds left in the frame to give Toronto a 5-3 lead.
Early on, Chris Conner scored his first of the season just 1:57 into the first to give the Penguins an early edge, but Toronto tallied the next four goals of the game to build a seemingly comfortable cushion.
Van Riemsdyk started the rally with a power-play marker at 5:09, as he tipped in Dion Phaneuf's left-point blast to tie the game.
A poor line change from the Penguins later in the first helped the Leafs jump on top, with the miscue setting up a 3-on-1 Toronto rush that Kadri converted with a wicked wrister from the right circle that sailed past the blocker side of Fleury for a 2-1 lead at 11:41.Game Notes
The Leafs are the first team in the NHL this season to be held without a shot
in the third period of a game ... The last time the Leafs were held without a
shot in a period was Apr. 3, 2000 against Buffalo ... Pittsburgh improved to
20-3 in its last 23 shootouts ... The Penguins moved to 11-3-0 at home this
season ... Pittsburgh went 3-for-5 on the power play, while Toronto finished
1-for-3 on the man advantage.