Ian White made sure the sting of letting a third-period lead slip away didn't last long for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
White scored with 1:22 left in regulation and the Toronto Maple Leafs escaped Mellon Arena with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. The defenseman's eighth goal of the season came just 53 seconds after Mike Rupp had tied the game.
"I think we kept a quiet confidence after (Pittsburgh's tying goal)," said White, who beat Marc-Andre Fleury from the point with a slap shot. "We didn't get deflated -- and that's a pretty deflating time to get one scored against you. But we kept on pushing, had a couple more hard shifts, and it paid off."
Luke Schenn, Lee Stempniak and Jason Blake also scored for Toronto, which got 21 saves from Vesa Toskala.
"We showed resiliency," White said. "We were pretty desperate for a win here. We kept battling back, and so did they. This was our second game in two nights, but we found a way."
Matt Cooke and Sidney Crosby had the other goals for Pittsburgh, which rallied from three separate one-goal deficits but missed an opportunity to take sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division with New Jersey idle.
"I think our execution wasn't there, and that's pretty typical when you come back from a break and we were playing a team who had already played and had their legs under them a little bit," Crosby said. "We worked hard, but it seems like we just couldn't execute the way we needed to."
Schenn, a healthy scratch for several games earlier this month, got Toronto on the board 2:28 into the first period with his third career goal and first of the season. He took a shot from the right point, and with traffic in front it stuck past Fleury, possibly off Pittsburgh defenseman Jay McKee.
"Scoring the first goal, I think, was huge for us," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "I don't think Pittsburgh had their 'A' game, but neither did we."
Cooke scored an unassisted goal off a 2-on-1 break at 5:01, but Stempniak put the Leafs ahead after 20 minutes by scoring on the power play with 3:28 left. Tomas Kaberle took a shot from the right point that bounced around in front of the net and Stempniak was able to tuck it past Fleury.
A power-play goal by Crosby evened the score again 7:48 into the second. A great individual effort by the captain in which he took the puck from the right corner and stickhandled past Schenn to the left of the goal resulted in Crosby banking a shot off the near post and the back of Toskala before Schenn accidentally directed the puck in with his skate.
Blake, always a thorn in the side of the Penguins, made it 3-2 with 4:53 left in the second with a wrister from the slot. It gave him 25 goals and 48 points in 48 career games against Pittsburgh.
It didn't hold up as the winner, though, as Rupp scored his career-high 10th of the season off an Evgeni Malkin feed with 2:15 remaining in the third.
Material from wire services was used in this report.
1 - 0 TOR
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 TOR
2 - 2 Tie
3 - 2 TOR
3 - 3 Tie