-The Penguins face the Maple Leafs tonight. Will we see the disciplined team which limited the Islanders and Bruins on offense this week or will we see the sloppy team which allowed the Maple Leafs to comeback in Saturday's wild game?
-The Maple Leafs certainly have the type of offense and players to engaged the Penguins in a game like that. This team is so deep offensively.
-The Penguins had an interesting change on the defensive pairings at this morning's skate at it looks like Simon Despres is teamed with Kris Letang. Letang had skated with Mark Eaton the previous two games which, as we said earlier, were strong efforts on defense. The Eaton-Letang pairing seemed pretty strong the past two games. That said, the Letang-Despres pairing was used earlier this season to quite a bit of success. Each option presents plent of options.
-The Maple Leafs have a lineup change on defense as well as they are inserting the offensively gifted John-Michael Liles on defense in place of the rough and tumble Michael Kostka. You sacrifice tougness for skill with that change.
-We're guessing James van Riemsdyk and Clarke MacArthur will figure prominently into this game. They always seem to do well against the Penguins.
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Mark Eaton and Evgeni Malkin.
-The Maple Leafs' starters are Tyler Bozak, Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Korbinian Holzer, Dion Phaneuf and Ben Scrivens.
-Their scratches are Mike Komisarek, Michael Kostka and David Steckel.
19:50: On games' first offensive rush, Crosby tries to jam in a wraparound attempt from the right side of the net. Scrivens' left leg holds it out.
18:00: Seems like a dead atmosphere at Air Canada Centre.
16:24: Martin is pressured by Bozak in the Penguins' zone. He steals the puck off Martin at the blue line, moves in a bit and lifts a wrister from the slot whch Fleury gets a piece of with his glove.
14:35: Nazem Kadri lifts a rising wrister from above the left circle. Fleury gloves it. Brooks Orpik displays his new visor:
14:16: Taking a pass from Crosby at the right point, Letang moves to the slot and snaps off a wrister which Scrivens kicks out.
13:49: This game has opened up quickly. After Dupuis guns a slapper from the right wing over the cage, the puck kicks up the opposite way up ice. van Riemsdyk leads a partial two-on-one up the left wing with Kessel against Despres. He deals a pass to Kessel. As Letang husltes and dives back to attempt a strip, Kessel snaps off a wrister from the left circle wide of the cage. Kessel has to get that on net.
13:38: Off a drop pass from Liles, van Riemsdyk snaps off a wrister from above the left circle. Fleury eats it up.
13:06: Liles hits Bennett from behind near the left wing boards slightly away from the puck. That's called interference. Heck of a way for Liles to introduce himself to the lineup after being scratched for 12 games. Letang, Crosby, Kunitz, Martin and James Neal take the ice.
11:06: Two minutes later, the Penguins failed to record a shot on net with that chance.
10:09: Kadri challenges Orpik one-on-one on the right wing. He tries to chip and chase the puck but Orpik's stick gets tangled up in his legs and trips him. That's two minutes for Orpik, Glass, Adams, Letang and Martin take the ice.
10:00: Phaneuf corrals a broken-up pass in the left circle and jabs a quick shot on net. Fleury kicks it out.
8:36: Matt Cooke whips a puck down ice for a clear.
8:09: As the Orpik minor is killed, Phaneuf has a one-timer from the left point blocked by Adams. The Maple Leafs only had one official shot on net with that chances.
7:33: Dupuis has wrister from the slot deflected.
7:17: Kunitz glides off the left wing, attacks the net and tries to jam in a backhander. Scrivens kicks it out.
6:33: Liles fires a slapper from the right wall. Fleury steers it to the far corner.
5:52: From the left point, Mark Fraser chops a slapper. Kadri is positioned to the left of the cage and tries to re-direct the puck on net. FLeury fights it off.
4:31: Frazer McLaren sneaks a backhander on net form the right circle. Fleury covers to freeze play.
3:41: Off a pass from Matt Frattin, Mikhail Grabovski snaps off a shot from the right circle. Fleury battle it away.
3:08: Letang jabs a one-timer form the right point. Bennett re-directs it on net. Scrivens knocks it down and covers.
3:00: Bylsma has swtched up his second and third line centers from this morning skate. Brandon Sutter is with Neal and Bennett while Dustin Jeffrey is centering Cooke and Tyler Kennedy.
1:41: Holzer snaps off a wrister fromt he right pint. van Riemsdyk is positioned right in front of the paint and re-directs the puck up into the air. Fleury springs from his butterfly position and reaches over the 6-foot-4 van Riemsdyk to glove the puck.
0:28: Off a pass from Martin, Crosby lifts a wrister from the slot wide to the left side of the cage.
0:22: Martin guns a one-timer from the right half wall slightly wide on the near side.
0:00: End of period. Maple Leafs 0, Penguins 0.
-That was hardly the most entertaining period of hockey you'll ever see but there was a solid pace and there were few mistakes from either team.
-The Maple Leafs had a slight advantage in terms of quality of shots. They did a good job of limiting the Penguins' speed in the neutral zone and cutting down on the Penguins' shots.
-Letang and Despres seemed to be comfortable with one another.
-Neither team's power play looked all that impressive.
-It would be a stretch to say either goaltender was tested a great deal.
-As pointed out by Root Sports, Phaneuf shadowed Crosby a little bit. Boston's Zdeno Chara did the same thing Tuesday. With Malkin out, opponent can focus on Crosby a bit more.
-The Maple Leafs have a 9-6 lead in shots.
-Bennett and van Riemsdyk each lead the game with two shots.
-Phaneuf leads the game with 9:52 of ice time.
-Letang leads the Penguins with 9:28.
-The Penguins have a 13-8 lead in faceoffs (62 percent).
-Crosby is 7 for 10 (70 percent).
-Grabovski is 4 for 5 (80 percent).
-Phaneuf leads the game with four blocked shots.
-None of the Penguins has more than one blocked shot.
19:32: Kessel controls a puck on the right wing and snaps off a wrister over the cage.
19:00: Leo Komarov settles a pucto the left of the cage and flips a backhander on net. Fleury eats it up.
18:12: Franson lifts a wrister from the left point which hits a leg in front.
17:22: Holzer steps up and absolutely hammers Glass to the ice in front of the visiting penalty box.
17:16: Adams has the making of a two-on-one with Despres. He deals a pass from the left wing to Despres in the right circle. Jay McClement hustles back on a backcheck and breaks up the pass.
17:00: The great Joe Vitale shoves Holzer into the Toronto net and dislodges it. Holzer gives some grief to Vitale. Vitale responds by socking him in the face with a left. A small scrum ensues but nothing comes of it.
15:24: Grabovski spins in the right circle and flings a wrister. Despite a screen by Despres, Fleury fights it off. The rebound kicks out to the left circle where Liles jabs it on net. Fleury denies that as well.
15:13: Frattin hits Despres near the home penalty box. He's called for charging a really weak penalty. Crosby, Martin, Letang, Neal and Kunitz take the ice.
14:31: Martin booms a slapper from the left point. Scrivens kicks it out.
13:55: Fraser gives Crosby a side-saddle suplex on Crosby in the right wing corner. No call.
13:32: Bennett snaps off a wrist from above the left circle. Scrivens says no.
13:13: The Frattin penalty expires. Another weak effort by the Penguins despite getting three shots on net.
11:40: Frattin races up the right wing and snaps off a wrister from deep. Fleury steers it away.
11:21 A slapper from Niskanen from the left point is deflected out of play.
10:58: Liles settles a puck at the left point and wires a slapper on net. Fleury gloves it.
10:15: Dupus sneaks a slapper from the right on on net. Scrivens kicks it away.
9:59: The Penguins get loose in their own zone and pay the pice. On a rush into the offensive zone, Kessel deals a pass from the left wing to Franson on the right. Franson then deals a cross-ice pass to Bozak to the right of the cage. From a tough angle, Bozak is able to lift a wrister over the blocker of a stretched out Fleury. Great puck movement. We're not sure if it was a result of a bad line change but Letang and Orpik were on the ice for that goal. They've had difficulties as of late as a pairing. Franson and Kessel get assists. Maple Leafs 1-0.
-That's... slightly ... better than the "Harlem Shake" the Maple Leafs used last week for a goal song.
8:17: The Penguins get another power play as Komarov races Bennett for a hit in the right wing corner and grabs Bennett. That's two minutes for holding. Crosby, Neal, Kunitz, Martin and Letang take the ice.
6:17: And two minutes later, the Penguins fail to get a shot on net with the power play once again.
5:24: On with Dupuis and Neal, Jeffrey flings a wrister on net from the left wing. Scrivens kicks it out.
4:25: Adams jabs a bouncing puck on net from the slot. Scrivens kicks it out. Tough save.
3:37: Frattin tries to make a cut around Despres on the left wing but is slammed fro the ice by Despres. Nice hit.
2:30: Cutting across the slot, Sutter lifts a wrister from the right circle. Scrivens battles it away.
2:18: Grabovski taps a puck from the left circle towards the other side of the crease. Van Riemsdyk is there but the it hits the leg of Letang and is kicked out by Fleury's left skate.
2:11: Neal tries to jam in awraourn arond form the right side of the cage. The puck kicks out to Letang in the left circle. He snaps off a wrister which hits a body in front. Play has opened up the last shift or two.
0:07: Orpik flings a wrister from the left point which hits something in front.
0:00: End of period. Maple Leafs, 1, Penguins 0.
-What a boring game thus far. The Leafs have done a great job at clogging up the ice and limiting the Penguins' ability to skate and move the puck. It's boring but effective.
-The Penguins have had some issues defending cross-ice passes in this game. It's how Toronto got its only goal.
-The Penguins' power play has been pretty stale this game. They just haven't really had a chance to set things up.
-The second line has created a few things but it really hasn't had a high-quality scoring chance.
-The first line has been pretty bottled up most of the game.
-The Maple Leafs have a 17-16 edge in shots.
-Bennett and Liles each lead the game with three shots.
-Phaneuf leads the game with 18:54 of ice time.
-Letang leads teh Penguins with 18:16.
-The Penguins have a 24-18 lead in faceoffs (57 percent).
-Crosby is 13 for 22 (59 percent).
-Grabovski is 6 for 9 (67 percent).
-Phaneuf leads the game with five blocked shots.
-The Penguins have four blocked shots totals. No one has more than one.
18:51: Kunitz taps a pass from the right wing corner to Crosby behind the Toronto cage. Crosby slide it to Dupuis in the left circle. Dupuis whips a wrister on net. Scrivens challenges and fights it off. Huge save.
16:47: Cutting off a check from the left wing, Bennett flings a wrister on net. Scrivens steers it away.
16:34: Nikolai Kulemin and MacArthur each have a few chances in tight but Fleury holds it out.
15:50: Off a turnover by Despres, Bozaks lifts a wriste ron net form the left wing. Fleury fights it off.
15:15: After Despres ices the puck, the Penguins call a time-out to get a breather.
13:51: Kadri takes a pass down low on the left wing and has Fleury all to himself. He tries to cut across the front of the crease with his backhand but Fleury challegnes with his stick and pokes the puck away.
11:22: As play opens up a bit, Dupuis lifts a slapper from the left point on net. Scrivens gloves it.
11:06: Using Holzer as a screen, Dupuis wires a quick slapper from above the right circle. Scrivens eats it up.
10:12: Jeffrey races for a puck in his own right wing corner and taps it up ice. He gets dumped to the ice hard by Kadri for his troubles.
9:50: Engelland has a slapper from the right point blocked by Fraser.
9:06: After an icing call, the Maple Leafs call a time-out to get a breather.
7:56: Neal jabs a shot from the left wing. Scrivens steers it away.
7:18: The Penguins force a mistake and strike. The Penguins dump the puck into the right wing corner and it wrap aroudn to the opposite corner. Holzer tries to play it but is pressed against the boards by a forechecking Kunitz. Kunitskte hpcu and dlas forhenad pass to Crosby int he left circle. Crosby takes the pass on his forehand, spins between Bozak and Kessel and flings a pass to Dupuis to the right of the cage. Dupuis takes the pass on his backhand, flips to his forehand and tucks a shot by the left skate of Scrivens for a goal. What a combination of aggression and skill to set that up. Kunitz created that entire chance. Crosby pulled off a beauty of a pass and Dupuis gets the goal. Crosby and Kunitz get assists. Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 1.
6:41: After Kennedy turns the puck over in the neutral zone, Kadri leads a rush up the right wing and is tripped up by Orpik. that's two minutes. Adams, Letang, Sutter and Martin take the ice.
6:36: Off an offensive zone faceoff win, Franson lifts a slapper from the right point. Fleury eats it up despite a screen.
5:34: Glass eats up some clock by steaks a puck in the Toronto zone from Kadri and
5:13: Kadri flings a wrister on net from the right point. Fleury battles it away.
5:03: Dupuis clears the puck to kill time and get a line change.
4:41: The Orpik minor is killed. That was huge.
3:43: Despres chops a slapper from the left point which hits something in front and trickles on net. Scrivens says no.
3:34: Crosby backhands a puck from the right circle on net. Scrivens covers it.
3:23: HUGE SAVE. Orpik plays a puck form the right point of the Toronto zone but his stick breaks. Komarov is right there with th puck and sraces in o a breakawy with the puck as Orpik chases without a sick. He attacks the net and snaps off a wrister. Fleury fights it off. Orpik owes Fleury a beer.
2:56: Fraser slams Cooke to the ice with a shoulder check in the right circle.
2:26: van Riemsdyk drives up the left wing while fending off Niskanen. With one hand, he deals a pass to the crease. Bozak drive to the cage by Martin and taps the puck wide on the near side.
2:20: Kessel tries to snap off a cross-ice pass from the left circle to van Riemsdyk but Crosby hustles back on a cross-check and breaks up the pass. Great play.
2:10: Dupuis to the rescue again. Kunitz pushes the puck up the left wing boards, spins off a check from Bozak and deals a backhanded pass to Dupuis in the slot. Dupuis settles the puck and chops a half slapper over the glove hand of Scrivens. Another late go-ahead goal for the Penguins. Kunitz gets the only assist. Penguins 2-1.
1:03: Scriven is pulled for an extra attacker.
0:22: Orpik absolutely slammed Kessel from behind into the left wing corner boards. Ouch. Another penalty for Orpik. This is huge. A two-man advantage essentially for the Maple Leafs. Sutter, Adams, Letang and Martin take the ice.
0:09: A slapper from Franson at center point is blocked. The rebound rattles around. Adams clears the puck and watches it slide down ice into the cage for one of us:
The goal is unassisted. Penguins 3-1.
0:00: End of game. Penguins 3, Maple Leafs 1.
-What an oddly similar game to Tuesday's comeback against the Bruins. The Penguins were stuck in a trap-induced funk most of the game but found a few opportunities to strike late and took the win.
-This seven-game winning streak the Penguins are on have shown the versatility the Penguins have. They can win run and gun game such as the 7-6 or 5-4 wins in Montreal and Toronto respectively or they can grind out ugly 3-2 or 3-1 win against Boston or Toronto.
-The chemistry between Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz is something to behold. They might be playing at a higher level right now than they were during the 2010-11 season before Crosby was concussed. They're passes are all clean and tight. They all know where one another is on the ice. Short of the Sedin twins and Alex Burrows in Vancouver, it's hard to imagine another line with better chemistry.
-Remember the whole? "Dupuis doesn't have hands" meme?
-You can't even joke about it any longer. The touch he showed on each of his goals was superbly smooth. The first goal, he was patient enough to take the puck on his backhand and flip it forehand. The second one was just a slick shot.
-Defensively, this was the third strong effort in as many games by the Penguins. They really limited Toronto's quality of offensive chances and didn't give up too much in terms of passes around the net. Toronto had to try and generate things from the outside and the Penguins managed to limit the damage the Maple Leafs could do on rebounds.
-Brooks Orpik didn't have an oustanding game. He was on the ice for the lone Toronto goal and took three penalties.
-The Penguins seemed to mix and match their defensemen quite a bit. Kris Letang may have skated with everyone but Deryk Engelland. We're not sure if that helped or hurt the Penguins. It seemed to have a neutral impact.
-Neither team really did anything of note with the power play. Both power-play units just didn't seem to have a chance to set up any sort of structure in the offensive zone.
-Marc-Andre Fleury and Ben Scrivens each had quetly strong games.
-The Maple Leafs had a 29-28 edge in shots.
-Dupuis led the game with seven shots.
-Tyler Bozak and John-Michael Liles each led the Maple Leafs with four shots.
-Dion Phaneuf led the game with 27:49 of ice time.
-Letang was right behind him with 27:40.
-The Penguins led in faceoffs, 36-26 (58 percent).
-Crosby was 16 for 27 (59 percent).
-Mikhail Grabovski was 7 for 13 (54 percent).
-Mark Fraser led the game with six blocked shots.
-Paul Martin led the Penguins with three.
-While it was on an empty net, Craig Adams did score the Penguins' first short-handed goal of the season.
-Kunitz moved past Kris Letang for 37th place on the franchise's all-time scoring list. Both players have 198 points but Kunitz (87) has more goals than Letang (42).
-With those six penalty minutes, Orpik (674 penalty minutes) moved within 10 points of tying Russ Anderson (684) for 10th most penalty minutes in franchise history.
-Marc-Andre Fleury tied Bill Ranford for the 50th-most wins in NHL history.