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NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins Score Quick, Often; Win in Shootout Against Toronto Maple Leafs

Tom Szczerbowski – USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to overcome the Toronto Maples Leafs tonight in a shootout and win by a score of 5-4.

The Penguins dominated the first period knowing they would have to confront a fast Toronto Maple Leafs team, so they struck quick and often.  Their first three goals came within the first 15 minutes of the game with James Neal scoring first from a play made at a face-off 36 seconds into the game.  It was his 16th of the season.  This quickly took the crowd out of the game and kept them quiet for most of the first period.

Most of the Penguins goals came on even-strength as they were unable to capitalize on the four power play opportunities they had. The Leafs continued to work back from a two-goal deficit starting in the second period.  They gained momentum by scoring their second and third goals then managed to keep the Penguins off the scoreboard in the third period despite being outshot by them 13 to 5. The Leafs finally tied the game at four and took it into overtime. However, Toronto goalie James Reimer couldn’t stop the Penguins in the shootout with goals coming from both Neal and Sidney Crosby while Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t allow any goals past him to earn the two points for winning the game.

The win comes at a cost as Evgeni Malkin was hit hard against the boards in the third.  He didn’t play in overtime wasn’t in the shootout lineup.  After the game, head coach Dan Bylsma reported that he suffered an upper body injury and it didn’t involve his head as was first speculated.  It is uncertain as to whether or not Malkin will be in the lineup tomorrow night against the New York Islanders.

Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her Facebook page, or add her to your Google+ circle.