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(Monday, December 16th)
Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Toronto 1
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal with 6:03 to play as the shorthanded Pittsburgh Penguins took a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.
Chris Conner and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Penguins, who have won four straight and nine of 10. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves in the win.
Pittsburgh was missing many big pieces of its squad for this game, including star forward Evgeni Malkin, who was out with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Also, forward James Neal served the fourth game of a five-game suspension, and defenseman Kris Letang was placed on injured reserve on Monday with an upper-body injury.
Several other players were also out of the lineup as the Penguins had several players suit up who had played significant time in the American Hockey League.
Morgan Rielly scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost four of their last five. Jonathan Bernier allowed two goals on 30 shots in the loss.
"I don't think we played well in the first period, but we seemed to get our skating together in the second period," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle. "But in the third period we made some mistakes and it cost us the game."
A right circle faceoff was won by Toronto, but the clear was picked off at the right point by Robert Bortuzzo, who fed the puck down to Pascal Dupuis. Crosby then received a pass in the slot and beat Bernier with a wrister for a 2-1 lead with 6:03 to play.
"It was kept in at the blueline and Duper (Dupuis) found me in the slot and made a great pass there," said Crosby about the goal. "There was a lot of room there and he hit me on the tape and I found the back of the net."
Toronto skated the final 1:05 on a power play and pulled Bernier for a 6-on-4, but was unable to get any good chances and Sutter put the game away with an empty-netter in the final seconds.
The Pens were all over the Toronto net to start the game and it paid off just 39 seconds in as Brian Dumoulin blasted a shot from the left point that hit off Conner at the right side and snuck in for a 1-0 lead.
Skating on the power play, Toronto tied the game as Rielly took the puck in down the right side and skated across to the top of the left circle before firing a knuckler past Fleury for his first NHL goal at 6:03 of the second period.
Pittsburgh plays in New York against the Rangers on Wednesday ... Toronto hosts Florida on Tuesday ... Pittsburgh has won two of the three games with Toronto this season ... Toronto went 1-for-5 on the power play, while Pittsburgh failed on its only chance.
12/17 00:41:01 ET
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