Penguins can’t stop Kadri, Maple Leafs
TORONTO — Nazem Kadri scored twice and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 Saturday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
Kasperi Kapanen, Mitch Marner and Patrick Marleau also scored to help the Maple Leafs get their franchise-record 10th straight home win. Frederik Andersen, appearing in his 57th game this season, stopped 38 shots.
Sidney Crosby and Patrick Hornqvist scored for the Penguins, who had won three straight and nine of their last 12.
Andersen had a shutout going until Crosby got his 23rd of the season with 3:36 remaining with a backhander thatn went in off Toronto defenseman Ron Hainsey’s stick to make it 4-1. It was Crosby’s 26th career goal and 57th point against the Maple Leafs.
Hornqvist then tipped Evgeni Malkin’s shot from the point with 2:28 to go. Malking got his 40th assist and 59th point against Toronto.
Marleau added an empty-netter with 58 seconds left to close the scoring.
The Maple Leafs, who had won 13 of 15 games before their four-game road slide, led 3-0 on nine shots midway through the game.
Toronto looked sluggish to start. Pittsburgh bottled the Leafs up in their end and outshot them 6-0 in the first four minutes. It took Toronto 5 1/2 minutes to register a shot on goal and that was a clearance during a penalty kill.
Toronto went ahead at 9:10 on a pretty goal by Kapanen that started with a no-look pass from Josh Leivo from behind the goal to Tyler Bozak. He slid the puck over to Kapanen, who buried it.
Kadri made it 2-0, tipping in Morgan Rielly’s shot with 47 seconds remaining in the period.
The Leafs didn’t put a shot on goal for the first 11 minutes of the second period but took advantage of the power play at 11:35. Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry stopped Marner’s shot from the point but gave up a rebound that went straight to Kadri for his second.
Kadri now has 26 goals on the season, an amazing turnaround for a player who went 0-for-December. His Jan. 4 goal against San Jose ended a 12-game scoring slump dating back to Nov. 30. The 27-year-old center, who had a career-high 32 goals in 82 games last season, notched his sixth multi-goal game of the campaign.
Brian Dumoulin’s goal for Pittsburgh with two minutes left in the second was waved off for goalie interference as the Penguins’ defenseman, who was pushed into the crease by Hainsey, caught Andersen’s head with his arm as he went across goal before stuffing the puck in.
Marner scored on a deflected shot from the blue line on the ensuing power play, rubbing salt in the wound. It was his 19th of the season, matching his rookie total last year.
Jarry, who had won his last three starts, gave up four goals on 16 shots through two periods before giving way to Casey DeSmith, to start the third.
Game notes: Toronto won for the second time in six games without star C Auston Matthews, who injured his shoulder in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Islanders on Feb. 22. … The Leafs were also without D Nikita Zaitsev (flu). … Kadri and Matthews are the first two Leafs centers to score 25 goals in consecutive seasons since Darryl Sittler and Dave Keon in 1972-1973 and 1973-1974. … The highlight of an uneventful third period barring the late goals was the announcement that the bumper 50-50 draw winner was some $50,000 richer. … Josh Jooris, acquired from Carolina at the trading deadline, made his Pittsburgh debut. With Bryan Rust (upper body) and Dominik Simon (lower body) hurt in the Philadelphia game, Jooris slotted into the Penguins’ fourth line alongside Carter Rowney, who had been a healthy scratch recently. … On hand were Olympic ice dance champions Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, who received a standing ovation during a first-period break, and “The Shape of Water” producer J. Miles Dale, complete with his Oscar. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield also got a warm reception. … Also in attendance was four-time Olympic medallist swimmer Penny Oleksiak, who was quick to respond after hearing her brother Jamie Oleksiak, a Pittsburgh defenseman, suggest on social media she may be cheering for the Pens. #goleafsgo” she tweeted.
On the ice
Tonight: Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m.
Records: Stars (38-24-6, 82 points); Penguins (39-26-4, 82 points)
TV: NBC Sports Network