PITTSBURGH (AP) — Matt Murray helped the Pittsburgh Penguins lift the Stanley Cup in 2016 and once more in 2017 as a tender goaltender whose balance beneath power belied his age.
The echoes of the victory parades are lengthy long past. Murray has moved on. So have the Penguins. Nowadays, most effective Murray is transferring in the correct route whilst his outdated staff is spinning its extremely dear wheels.
Murray became apart 34 pictures, together with a number of key stops to fend off a Pittsburgh surge to assist the Toronto Maple Leafs draw back for a 5-2 victory Tuesday evening.
“I am feeling nice, in point of fact playing myself,” stated Murray after his first sport in Pittsburgh since being traded to Ottawa in October 2020. “Had a good time this night, a really perfect revel in right here this night. I’m having a look ahead.”
John Tavares turned into the 107th participant in NHL historical past to achieve 400 targets with a first-period shot from prime within the slot that beat a screened Casey DeSmith to provide the Maple Leafs an early lead they by no means surrendered whilst successful for the 5th time in seven video games.
“(Scoring 400 is) simply that a lot more significant while you do it on an evening the place we get two issues and the crowd performs neatly, everybody contributes,” the 14-year veteran stated.
Michael Bunting had two targets and an lend a hand for Toronto. Mitchell Marner prolonged his issues streak to ten video games together with his fourth purpose of the season. William Nylander added an empty-net purpose to seal it.
Sidney Crosby and Rickard Rakell scored for the Penguins however Pittsburgh could not maintain the momentum from a a success three-game go back and forth through which they earned 5 of conceivable six issues to finish an early season skid.
DeSmith stopped 28 pictures however had little assist in entrance of him on an evening Toronto had no factor discovering open house, every so often proper in entrance of the Pittsburgh web because the Penguins’ inattention to element in their very own finish — a addiction they most commonly kicked on their highway swing — returned.
Pittsburgh trainer Mike Sullivan referred to as the defensive lapses “egregious.”
“I feel there’s been moments in a few of these video games the place for no matter reason why we break out from (protecting neatly) and it kind of feels like in the ones moments (the puck) finally ends up behind our web,” Sullivan stated.
Two of Toronto’s targets got here from throughout the blue paint, together with Bunting’s 2nd purpose with 50 seconds left in the second one era on a play through which he merely camped to DeSmith’s proper and was once in the easiest place to slam house a rebound with Penguins defenseman Kris Letang fruitlessly looking to cross-check him out of the way in which.
Two of Toronto’s different targets got here with the Penguins woefully out of place. Tavares in short discovered himself unguarded prime within the slot within the first era and Crosby closed too overdue. Bunting’s first purpose got here on a 2-on-1 created by way of a Pittsburgh turnover that gave Toronto a 3-0 lead.
A deflection by way of Rakell and a horny backhand by way of Crosby towards his outdated teammate in a 1:44 span early in the second one drew Pittsburgh inside of 3-2 however Murray — making an attempt to kickstart his profession after two underwhelming seasons with the rebuilding Senators — stood his flooring and the Maple Leafs pulled away.
NOTES: Tavares is the 5th participant to achieve 400 targets whilst dressed in a Maple Leafs sweater. Corridor of Famer Mats Sundin hit 400 targets on Oct. 14, 2002, additionally towards the Penguins. … Pittsburgh C Teddy Blueger skated 12:00 in go back after lacking the primary 15 video games with an upper-body harm.
Maple Leafs: Start a three-game homestand Thursday evening towards New Jersey.
Penguins: Play at Minnesota Thursday.
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