Maple Leafs slip past Pens 4-3
PITTSBURGH (AP)—Jason Blake(notes) played a part in two of four power-play goals scored by Toronto in the second period and the Maple Leafs downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in an exhibition game Friday night.
Blake scored, then assisted on defenseman Ian White’s(notes) goal to erase a 2-0 deficit. John Mitchell(notes) scored midway through the second to put Toronto (2-1) ahead and defenseman Juraj Mikus then capped the scoring.
Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin(notes) needed less than 20 minutes to pick up where he left off last season. Malkin, the NHL’s leading scorer in the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs, deflected a shot from Matt Cooke(notes) past James Reimer(notes) at 13:24 of the opening period. Cooke’s goal at 6:43 opened the scoring for Pittsburgh (1-1).
The Penguins were without several regulars, including centers Sidney Crosby(notes) and Jordan Staal(notes), and defenseman Sergei Gonchar(notes). Toronto played minus its top four defensemen in free-agent acquisitions Mike Komisarek(notes) and Francois Beauchemin(notes), veteran Tomas Kaberle(notes) and 2008 first-round pick Luke Schenn(notes).
Blake scored their first goal at 2:41, stuffing a puck past goalie Brent Johnson(notes), who signed with the Penguins over the summer to back up starter Marc-Andre Fleury(notes). Blake assisted on White’s goal at 4:45. After a penalty to Pittsburgh defenseman Ben Lovejoy(notes), Toronto’s Mitchell scored at 7:32 for a 3-2 lead. Mikus scored an unassisted power-play goal with 1:34 remaining in the period.