Maple Leafs 3, Penguins 2, OT

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TORONTO (AP)—Sidney Crosby’s NHL debut in Canada didn’t go as well as he wanted.

Bryan McCabe scored 1:02 into overtime to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night.

Crosby had an assist, and now has five goals and five assists in five games since being left off the Canadian Olympic team.

A large contingent of family and friends made the trip from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and Crosby didn’t disappoint them. The 18-year-old made a nifty behind-the-back pass to Zigmund Palffy, whose shot forced goalie Ed Belfour from the net— allowing Sergei Gonchar to score on the rebound at 5:47 of the first. Fans cheered when Crosby’s assist was announced.

Crosby travels to Montreal on Tuesday where he’ll play his favorite team as a kid.

“Montreal and Toronto are two teams that I watched a lot growing up,” Crosby said. “Definitely, when the schedule came out these were the games I was looking forward to.”

Chad Kilger scored twice for the Maple Leafs, winners of a season-high six straight.

The Penguins had a chance for their first three-game winning streak of the season, but Toronto’s line of Mats Sundin, Alexander Steen and Kilger took over early in the third.

Steen made a pass from the behind the net to Kilger, who scored on a wrist shot at 1:15.

Less than 3 minutes later, Kilger put a one-timer past goalie Jocelyn Thibault following a pass from behind the net from Sundin.

Pittsburgh’s Michel Ouellet tied it on the power play with a shot from the side net at 15:21 of the third.

“It would have been nice to get the third win in a row, but it’s nice to at least get the point,” Crosby said.

Teammate Mark Recchi said Crosby handled all the attention well.

“Sidney made a terrific pass. Obviously, we’ve seen that stuff before,” Recchi said. “He’s probably going to be disappointed because of the results tonight, but he’s a terrific player.”

Penguins coach Michel Therrien put his hands on his head after Tomas Surovy received a 2-minute penalty for goalie interference with 1:22 left in regulation, but the Penguins killed off the penalty.

Toronto then skated right back down the ice. McCabe made a drop pass to Tomas Kaberle, who passed it to Kyle Wellwood, whose shot deflected off McCabe’s stick and in.

“It’s an ugly one but they don’t ask how,” McCabe said. “It’s a big two points for us.”

The Maple Leafs are on their longest winning streak since an eight-game run from Nov. 22-Dec. 6, 2003, and have won seven of eight since an 8-2 loss to Ottawa on Dec. 17.

Notes

The Penguins are 2-5 since Therrien replaced the fired Eddie Olczyk. … Toronto’s Tie Domi tied Bob Baun for 10th on the career games list as a Leaf (739). Sundin is ninth with 789. … Pittsburgh owner-player Mario Lemieux missed his sixth straight game due to an irregular heartbeat.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
B. McCabe B. McCabe
Toronto Maple Leafs
Scored at 1:02 of OT

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Ed Belfour Fla 22 20