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|TOR||1||2||2||(0 - 0)||5|
On the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in desperate need of some momentum.
Their most recent performance certainly didn't generate any.
Pittsburgh looks to rebound from a disheartening loss as they continue a three-game road trip on Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Despite being outshot 43-16, the Penguins (24-21-5) appeared on their way to their fourth win in five games on Friday with a 3-1 lead in the third period at New Jersey. The Atlantic Division-leading Devils, however, scored twice in the final 8:01 of regulation, including Jamie Langenbrunner's tying goal with 31 seconds left in the third.
Langenbrunner scored again with a minute to play in overtime, dropping Pittsburgh to 1-4-1 in its last six road games.
"You have to play right through and finish games off," Crosby said. "There was a lot of time left on the clock and they had a chance to tie it in a one-goal game so we have to make sure we finish teams off."
One of the few positives from the loss was the return of defenseman Brooks Orpik, who missed the last three games with a groin injury.
Unless coach Michel Therrien decides to give Mathieu Garon his first start since joining the Penguins in a trade with Edmonton on Jan. 17, Marc-Andre Fleury will make his 13th straight start after stopping 39 shots against New Jersey.
Fleury is 5-4-2 with a 2.86 goals-against average in 12 appearances against the Leafs.
Crosby has shown no signs of the knee injury that prevented him from playing in Sunday's All-Star game. The Pittsburgh captain has two goals and four assists in two contests since the break, and seven goals and 16 assists in 14 games against the Maple Leafs.
Malkin has been even more productive versus Toronto with six goals and 19 assists in 10 games.
While Crosby and Malkin - the league's top two scorers - have been providing plenty of offense, the Penguins' secondary players have not. The biggest culprit is veteran Miroslav Satan, who has one goal in his last 19 games.
A postseason without the Penguins would be stunning, but that's become commonplace for Toronto (18-23-8), which is in danger of missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
The Maple Leafs ended a four-game skid (0-2-2) and matched a season high in goals with a 7-4 win at Colorado on Thursday, but lost All-Star defenseman Tomas Kaberle for the next four weeks due to a broken bone in his right hand.
"We got some breaks for a change and took advantage of them," coach Ron Wilson said. "The little tweaks we made energized some of our players. ... It was fun to see."
Jason Blake snapped a third-period tie and Dominic Moore had two goals and an assist for Toronto, which is 0-3-1 in its last four home games.
After sitting out Tuesday's 6-1 loss at Minnesota, Vesa Toskala made 16 saves on Thursday. He's 3-0 with a 2.34 GAA in his last three starts against the Penguins.
These teams have split two meetings this season - both at Pittsburgh. Crosby had a goal and three assists in the Penguins' 4-1 win on Oct. 18 and Nik Antropov led the Maple Leafs to a 7-3 victory on Dec. 20 with a goal and two assists.
|M. Van Ryn||20||3||6||9||+2||8||2||0|