Penguins Drop to Leafs, 4-2

The Pittsburgh Penguins winning streak ended at 3-games on Saturday night as they lost to Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 4-2.  Despite a 3rd period surge, the Penguins were unable to break the stifling defense played by the Leafs.  Vesa Toskala, in net for the Leafs, frustrated the Penguins offense by making 30 saves on 32 shots, while at the other end of the ice Dany Sabourin stopped 38 of 41 shots.  The Leaf’s 4th goal was an empty net insurance goal.

“He played well,” Sidney Crosby said of Toskala. “I think we could’ve done a better job of getting some traffic in front but he made some big saves – a breakaway, some odd-man rushes – so you definitely have to give him some credit.”  Ryan Malone and Erik Christensen scored 3rd period goals for the Penguins after falling behind 3-0.  The Penguins lacked the jump they exhibited on Friday night in their 4-1 home win over Dallas.

In the 2nd period, Crosby fell on his left knee after being tripped in the goal mouth by Toskala, who was penalized.  Despite being in obvious pain, Crosby shook it off and was on the ice for his next shift.  “It’s all right, I twisted my foot a bit, but, other than that, it’s fine. It was my ankle. Just a bruise.”

Toskala stopped Ryan Malone on a fantastic breakaway chance in the third period, but Malone found the back of the net at 8:15 for his 8th goal of the season.  Despite being outplayed most of the game, the Penguins pulled within a goal at 17:55 of the 3rd on  a power play goal by Erik Christensen that trickled up and over the shoulder of Toskala and into the net.  Crosby picked up an assist to avoid being held without a point for only the third time this season.  “We had some chances to tie it up in the third, but I don’t think we gave ourselves a good chance in the first two periods,” Crosby said.

The Penguins host the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night at 7:30.

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