for this game

Kessel nets winner as Leafs edge Pens

Oct 30, 2011 - 6:04 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Phil Kessel scored the deciding goal midway through the third period, lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Air Canada Centre.

Mikhail Grabovski, Tim Connolly and Clarke MacArthur each had a goal for the Maple Leafs, who got 34 saves -- including 16 in the third period -- from Jonas Gustavsson.

"He's given us a chance to win. He's made the saves when we needed them and today was no different," Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf said about Gustavsson. "I thought he did a really good job for us again."

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist, while Matt Cooke and Chris Kunitz also scored for the Penguins, who saw their five-game win streak come to an end.

Brent Johnson stopped 25 shots for Pittsburgh.

Grabovski's rebound power-play goal marked the lone tally of the first period, giving the Maple Leafs an early advantage.

Midway through the second, Pittsburgh evened the score, as Cook's rebound put- in off of an Arron Asham wrister made it 1-1.

Minutes later, with Malkin in the box for hooking, Connolly got behind the defense and drove home a pass from Joffrey Lupul for a 2-1 Maple Leafs advantage.

Back on the ice, Malkin set up Kunitz on the power play, freezing the defense with a fake, then snapping a shot off Gustavsson's pads. Kunitz buried the rebound for a 2-2 tie heading into the third period.

Toronto jumped back on top early in the final frame, as Phaneuf wrapped around the back of the net and threw the puck off the post, setting up MacArthur for the rebound tally.

Malkin struck again, however, capitalizing on a 5-on-3 advantage with a long distance slap shot, which beat Gustavsson to once-again tie the contest.

Kessel provided the game-winning goal minutes later. With the Maple Leafs on the attack, Mike Komisarek prevented the puck from escaping the zone and caught the Penguins off guard as he passed to Connolly, who fed Kessel with a cross-ice feed for the one-time wrister.

"To come back three times is a lot to ask and to come back a fourth time was too much to ask," Penguins forward Craig Adams said.

Game Notes

This is the first of four meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals this season...The Maple Leafs are 5-0-1 at home on the young season.