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Crosby, Penguins visit Maple Leafs

Oct 11, 2014 - 2:01 PM ( - Sidney Crosby showed why he is the reigning Hart Trophy winner in Thursday's season-opening win over Anaheim. The Pittsburgh Penguins star will try to stay hot to begin the campaign when his team visits the Toronto Maple Leafs in Saturday's battle at Air Canada Centre.

Crosby, who won his second NHL MVP award in 2013-14, recorded two goals and an assist to help the Penguins down the visiting Ducks by a 6-4 score. The 27- year-old Pittsburgh captain led the NHL with 104 points last season, and his three-point night on Thursday was a good way to begin 2014-15.

Pascal Dupuis chipped in a goal and three assists for a Pittsburgh team that was rolling offensively in new head coach Mike Johnston's first game behind the bench. Patric Hornqvist added a goal and one assist in his Penguins' debut, while Olli Maatta had three helpers in the win.

Johnston took over the coaching job after Dan Bylsma was fired following a second-round loss to the New York Rangers in last year's playoffs.

"It's certainly exciting," Johnston said of the result. "The first game out of 82 games, it's good to get the win. Now we've got some building blocks going forward and we faced a very good team tonight."

The Penguins put up 39 shots on Pittsburgh native John Gibson, who let up all six goals in a rough homecoming that spoiled a hat trick from Anaheim teammate Corey Perry. Marc-Andre Fleury, meanwhile, turned aside 25 chances for the Penguins.

Evgeni Malkin sat out training camp with an undisclosed injury, but was able to play in the opener for Pittsburgh. The Russian star recorded an assist in just under 17 minutes of ice time.

While Pittsburgh picked up a win in its first try, the Maple Leafs will try to rebound from a season-opening loss to Montreal when they play their second home game tonight. Toronto dropped a 4-3 decision to the visiting Canadiens on Wednesday, with Tomas Plekanec scoring the game-winning goal with just 42.9 seconds remaining.

Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and Morgan Rielly each scored for the Maple Leafs, who had a streak of four straight season-opening wins over Montreal snapped.

"Obviously we'll try to put (Wednesday) behind us," said Bozak. "We're looking toward Pittsburgh and all the talent they have in their lineup, its going to be a tough game for us."

Jonathan Bernier stopped 28 shots in the loss.

The Maple Leafs made some roster moves on Thursday, picking up Richard Panik off waivers from Tampa Bay while assigning fellow forwards Troy Bodie and Josh Leivo to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. The 23-year-old Panik played 50 games for the Lightning in 2013-14 and recorded three goals and 10 assists.

Pittsburgh has won four of five and five of its last seven meetings with the Maple Leafs. However, Toronto has fared well recently as the host against the Penguins, taking four of the past six encounters at Air Canada Centre.