TORONTO -- With center Tyler Bozak unavailable because of a lower body injury, Nazem Kadri was pushed onto the Toronto Maple Leafs' top line Saturday night between Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk.
It was Kadri's highlight-reel goal 1:26 into the third period that was the winner as the Leafs defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Saturday night.
The Leafs' top line combined for two goals and two assists and David Bolland chipped in with two goals.
Kris Letang had the lone Penguins goal.
Kadri took a cross-ice feed from Kessel, faked a forehand to pull Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury out of position and then went backhand for his fourth goal of the season.
"It seemed like it was a half ice three-on-two," Kadri said. "Reemer just made a great play moving it over to Phil. He drove the net and that's what opened up the top lane for Phil to pass it to me and I was able enough to make a pass and put it in."
With less than three minutes remaining and the Leafs on a power play, Kessel beat an out-of-position Fleury for his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
It was the first time that Kadri, Kessel and van Riemsdyk were playing together since last spring's playoffs, but the chemistry was evident.
"They're good friends of mine and we get a long so it was pretty easy," Kadri said. "They're good players. You just usually have to be at the right spot at the right time and the puck is on your stick."
With the Leafs (8-4-0) up 3-1 and the Penguins' net empty, Bolland picked up his second goal of the night and sixth of the season. The former Chicago Blackhawk had just seven goals last season.
The win was just the second for the Leafs in five games.
The Penguins (7-4-0) have now lost three straight regular-season games for the first time since a six-game skid from Dec. 29, 2011 to Jan. 11, 2012. Pittsburgh has scored just four goals in their three losses.
Pittsburgh outshot Toronto 16-4 in the second period but had nothing to show for it.
"They play well at home, but I think through the second period we played our game and didn't give them anything. Unfortunately, we didn't start the third off the right way and had to play catch up from there," said Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, who was held pointless for just the second time in 11 games this season. "We easily could've got a couple in the second and it's a different game. We have to find a way to capitalize."
The Penguins missed an excellent chance midway through the period as Pascal Dupuis had Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer down and out but could not get the puck past his right pad.
On a power play, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin could not connect on a give-and-go play.
Later in the period, Penguins rookie defenseman Olli Maatta missed a wide-open net, putting his shot wide of a sprawling Reimer.
Toronto's best scoring chance in the period came six minutes in when Fleury robbed van Riemsdyk on a backhand chance.
Reimer improved to 3-0-0 and Fleury's record fell to 7-2-0.
It was Reimer's first start since he left Toronto's Oct. 17 game against the Carolina Hurricanes just 32 seconds in after a teammate accidentally kneed him in the head.
"I felt good. I didn't feel like there was too much rust," Reimer said. "I felt pretty comfortable and the guys played a great game. We were able to put a couple pucks in, in the third and get a win."
Tempers boiled over with 17 seconds remaining in the first period.
David Clarkson, playing in his first game after a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation in the preseason, had a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi. However, the veteran Penguins blue liner went down awkwardly and was helped off the ice favoring his left leg. Scuderi did not return to the game.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma referred to it as a lower-body injury that the team would re-evaluate in Pittsburgh.
After the hit, Deryk Engelland and Frazer McLaren dropped the gloves.
With Toronto trailing 1-0 late in the first period, Bolland got the Maple Leafs on the board with a short-handed goal.
With Carl Gunnarson in the box for hooking, Dion Phaneuf sprung Bolland. Bolland beat Fleury blocker side for his fifth goal of the season.
Letang, playing in just his second game of the season since returning from a knee injury, opened the scoring on a power play for his first goal of the season.
NOTES: Maple Leafs LW Joffrey Lupul underwent a CT scan for a bone bruise on his right foot Saturday. ... Toronto C Tyler Bozak was scratched from the lineup with lower-body injury suffered in the Leafs' loss in Columbus on Friday night. ... Pittsburgh RW Matt D'Agostini returned from injured reserve after missing the first 10 games and made his Penguins debut. ... Toronto recalled RW Carter Ashton from the AHL Marlies on Saturday morning.