October 29, 2011

Leafs Continue To Roll As They Beat League Leading Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins (8-3-2) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (7-2-1)

The Penguins dominated from the beginning of the game as they outshot the Leafs 11-6 during the first period. Scoring was started on the power play as the Leafs were given energy when Mikhail Grabovski redirected a Phaneuf point shot.

Halfway into the second Matt Cooke finished off front in front beating Gustavsson to make it a 1-1 game. Connolly, in his second game back from injury, got his first as a Leaf with a right time right place clean up goal to regain the lead for the Leafs. This was the second powerplay goal with Malkin in the box as the Leafs seem to have an answer for the number one penalty killing unit in the league. Kunitz tied the game on the power play as he buried a rebound given as a gift by a Gustavsson pad save.

MacArthur added his second of the year pushing the Leafs ahead once again. Less than five minutes later Malkin tied the game on a five on three powerplay as he let a laser go from the point beating Gustavsson five hole as he had no chance due to a Komisarek screen. Right before the goal Gustavsson made multiple outstanding saves on the 2 man disadvantage.  The action was not over as we saw lead leaguing 10th goal of the year by Phil Kessel set up from a nice pass by Connolly as there appears to be some chemistry forming between the two Leafs. The Leafs battled intense fore checking from the Pens in the final minutes but were able to hold on which is becoming a positive early season trend for the Buds. 

Clearly an improved team from last season but this pace will be hard to keep up.  Reimer is expected to be back next game but overall Gustavsson has done well filling in.  This will be Reimers team regardless that is until he starts playing like a Vesa Toskala.

By: Liam Niven

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