for this game

Tlusty makes great first impression as Maple Leafs roll

Oct 26, 2007 - 3:44 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Sidney Crosby got the Pittsburgh Penguins off to a good start in the first period. Rookie Jiri Tlusty did even better for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third.

Tlusty ignited a four-goal outburst in the first half of the third period with his first two career tallies as the Maple Leafs rallied for a 5-2 victory over the Penguins on Thursday.

Crosby, whose only two previous goals this season came in a 6-4 triumph in Toronto on October 13, opened the scoring late in the first session. But the Maple Leafs took control from there, reeling off five consecutive tallies, beginning with one by Alex Steen midway through the second.

"When you have a one-goal lead, you can't sit on it," Crosby said. "You want to try to get two or three and get some breathing room. You're flirting with danger with a one-goal lead."

Drafted 13th overall in 2006, Tlusty took over from there. Playing in his first NHL game, the 19-year-old Czech gave Toronto a 2-1 lead at 1:45 of the third, deflecting Steen's shot from above the right faceoff circle over goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's left shoulder.

"I was nervous before the game, but after the first period, my nerves calmed down," Tlusty said. "After the second period, I felt really good."

"Jiri had a great game for us tonight," Steen said. "He used his speed and got to the puck quickly. As soon as we got open, it felt like he could find us. He played a great hockey game defensively as well."

Toronto coach Paul Maurice also was impressed with Tlusty's overall performance.

"We'll talk about Jiri's two goals, and that will be a really exciting story," Maurice said. "But it was all the other things he did that were good for me."

Just 35 seconds later, Tlusty skated down the left wing and fired a wrist shot from the faceoff circle that got past Fleury and inside the right goalpost for a 3-1 bulge.

"I closed my eyes and took the shot and said, 'We'll see,' and it went in," Tlusty said. "It was my dream to play in the NHL and now I played in my first game, and in my first game, I scored my first two goals. It's great."

"They got a quick lucky goal, then they scored right away again," Pittsburgh defenseman Sergei Gonchar said. "We didn't play well when we came out and they had a chance to capitalize on it, and they did. We gave them their chance. We shouldn't have."

Defenseman Tomas Kaberle cashed in during a power play at the midway point of the period and Boyd Devereaux took advantage of a turnover 33 seconds later to give the Maple Leafs a comfortable 5-1 cushion.

"I love the way we sort of turned on the jets in the third period," Steen said. "We came right at them right away. It was a great feeling to get a few goals, and then we played really well with a lead after that."

Crosby was disappointed with his team's effort in the third.

"We just went out there and made mistakes," he said. "There's a fine line between winning and losing, and we made mistakes, and every mistake we made was in our net. That's the way it goes."

Gonchar scored during a 5-on-3 with just over five minutes remaining, but it was too little, too late for the Penguins, who have tallied with the man advantage in each of their nine games this season but fell to 4-1-1 in their last six meetings with the Maple Leafs.

Steen and defenseman Pavel Kubina each had two assists and Vesa Toskala made 23 saves for Toronto, which won for just the second time in six games.

"I think it was our best game this season, by far," Toskala said. "We dominated at times. It was a good win, a big two points."

Evgeni Malkin set up both tallies for Pittsburgh, which had won three straight.

"When the game was on the line, we didn't do the job," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "We lost tonight, first of all, because we didn't execute. We committed a lot of mistakes and didn't compete. With all those things together, you're not going to win many games."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 1 4 5
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 3 (EVGENI MALKIN, MARK RECCHI) 16:20
    2ND PRD: TOR - ALEX STEEN 2 (NIK ANTROPOV, MATT STAJAN) 10:18
    3RD PRD: TOR - JIRI TLUSTY 1 (ALEX STEEN, PAVEL KUBINA) 1:45
    TOR - JIRI TLUSTY 1 (TOMAS KABERLE, V

    Oct 25 9:56 PM
  • 25
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    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 9:51 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 5
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) SERGEI GONCHAR 2 (SIDNEY CROSBY, EVGENI MALKIN)
    14:51 (WITH EXTRA ATTACKER)

    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 9:47 PM
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    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 5
    PITTSBURGH 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - BOYD DEVEREAUX 1 (HAL GILL) 10:35

    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 4
    PITTSBURGH 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - (PP) TOMAS KABERLE 4 (ALEX STEEN, MATS SUNDIN) 10:02

    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    PITTSBURGH 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - JIRI TLUSTY 1 (TOMAS KABERLE, VESA TOSKALA) 2:20

    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 2
    PITTSBURGH 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEX STEEN 3 (TOMAS KABERLE, JIRI TLUSTY) 1:45

    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 1 1
    PITTSBURGH 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 3 (EVGENI MALKIN, MARK RECCHI) 16:20
    2ND PRD: TOR - ALEX STEEN 2 (NIK ANTROPOV, MATT STAJAN) 10:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 10 8

    Oct 25 9:01 PM
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    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - ALEX STEEN 2 (NIK ANTROPOV) 10:18

    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 8:46 PM
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    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 3 (EVGENI MALKIN, MARK RECCHI) 16:20
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 10 10
    PIT 6 6
    GOALIES: TOR - VESA TOSKALA
    PIT

    Oct 25 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - SIDNEY CROSBY 3 (EVGENI MALKIN, MARK RECCHI) 16:20

    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 25 8:05 PM
  • 5
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    Maple Leafs vs. PenguinsOct 11 6:50 AM