NHL: MAPLE LEAFS 4, PENGUINS 1
TORONTO — Dave Bolland scored two goals and James Reimer had 37 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Saturday.
Making his first start since Oct. 17, when he left with a head injury after 32 seconds, Reimer was stellar after giving up a power-play goal to Kris Letang at 6:52 of the first.
Reimer made a highlight-reel right-pad save on Pascal Dupuis on a 2-on-1 rush and used a quick glove hand to make a series of saves while the Leafs were again being outshot.
Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto.
Kadri, centering the first line in place of the injured Tyler Bozak, scored the game-winner on a pretty passing play at 1:26 of the third period.
The Leafs matched the Penguins’ jump on Saturday night as neither team looked as if it was playing the second half of back-to-back games. The first period was one of Toronto’s best all season, thanks to plenty of sustained offensive pressure.
That was even considering the Penguins took a 1-0 lead after Evgeni Malkin found Letang streaking toward the net for the defenseman’s first goal of the season.
The same lack of discipline that cost the Leafs on Friday night in a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets looked as if it would hurt them again. They took four minor penalties in the first period, but one of them paved the way for a short-handed goal.
With Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson serving a hooking penalty, captain Dion Phaneuf connected with Bolland with a slap pass up the middle. Bolland wound up from above the faceoff circles and beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a slap shot to tie the score 16:33 into the first.
The Penguins dominated the second period, outshooting the Leafs 16-4, but Reimer was the difference. He stopped Brandon Sutter on a 2-on-1 rush with Tanner Glass.
Reimer didn’t stop there, denying Sidney Crosby on a one-timer at the side of the net and looking the puck all the way into his glove on a deflection in front from Matt D’Agostini, who was making his season debut.
When D’Agostini shot high on Reimer, the 25-year-old flaunted a glove save.
The Leafs were missing another forward after Bozak suffered a lower-body injury Friday night. That pressed Carter Ashton into the lineup and Kadri into duty as the first-line center between James van Riemsdyk and Kessel.
That trio may not be together for long, but they were in sync when it mattered against the Penguins. Van Riemsdyk passed it to Kessel and he found Kadri, who lifted the puck past Fleury 1:26 into the third period.
The Leafs put pressure on Fleury from there, and Kessel added an insurance goal on the power play at 17:05. Van Riemsdyk controlled the puck at the side of the net and sent a perfect cross-crease pass to Kessel, who was easily able to hit the empty net.
It was Kessel’s fifth goal in the past three games and his seventh of the season.
Bolland scored an empty-net goal to seal the win.
NOTES: Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi left the game late in the first period and did not return after taking a hit along the boards from David Clarkson. Scuderi struggled to get back on his skates and hobbled as he was helped off the ice. ... Deryk Engelland fought Frazer McLaren after Scuderi went down.