Malkin scores twice, Penguins beat Maple Leafs 3-0
TORONTO (AP) — Matt Murray and the Pittsburgh Penguins slowed down Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Murray made 38 saves for his first shutout of the season and Pittsburgh snapped Toronto’s winning streak at five games with a stifling 3-0 victory Thursday night.
Evgeni Malkin had two goals and an assist, scoring early and adding an empty-net goal. Kris Letang also had an empty-netter, and Sidney Crosby picked up an assist to tie Darryl Sittler for 60th on the NHL’s career points list with 1,221.
“It’s the best game this season so far for us,” Malkin said. “We played three periods against Matthews, (John) Tavares. We did a great job.”
Matthews, the NHL in scoring with 16 points on 10 goals and six assists, was looking to become the third player in NHL to start a season with eight consecutive multi-point games.
“We had a hard time getting on the inside,” Matthews said. “There are a lot of things that we can improve on. It seems like they were just calm, cool, collected. They didn’t run around, they just played smart and didn’t force anything.”
The Maple Leafs came in averaging an NHL-high 4.71 goals.
“They have a lot of offensive weapons,” Crosby said. “We did a great job of limiting their chances. They’re going to get them, they’re a pretty highly-skilled group, but we didn’t give them any freebies.”
Murray returned from a concussion that sidelined him for three games. He has seven career shutouts.
“We played really solid all the way through and battled hard,” Murray said. “That’s a crazy, dynamic team over there and we were able to hold them off pretty well.”
Frederik Andersen stopped 36 shots for Toronto. He was back in goal after sitting out a victory over Los Angeles on Monday night because of a minor knee injury.
“All victories, you’ve got to earn,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “It was right there for us to find another step and get better and find a way to get on the inside a little more, and they did a good job and kept us from doing that. There’s a lesson learned in that. “They’re a more veteran, polished playoff team than we are and it showed.”
Malkin opened the scoring midway through the first period, six seconds after the Maple Leafs were penalized for too many men on the ice. Crosby won the draw and the puck found its way down low to Malkin, who fired a low shot that beat Andersen through the pads.
Notes: Mario Lemieux (1992-93) holds the NHL record for consecutive multi-point games to start a season with 12, while Kevin Stevens, his linemate that season, did it eight times. ... Pittsburgh improved to 3-1-2, and Toronto dropped to 6-2-0.
Penguins: At Edmonton on Tuesday night.
Maple Leafs: Host St. Louis on Saturday night.