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Hedberg causes headaches for Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins again had trouble generating offense on the road. Johan Hedberg made sure what little they got was enough.

Hedberg made 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and Robert Lang scored the game's only goal late in the first period as the Penguins blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs, 1-0, to snap a three-game road losing streak.

Pittsburgh was shut out five times while going 1-6-1-1 in its previous nine road games, a slide that began with a 4-0 loss at Toronto. But Hedberg made Lang's goal stand up and moved into a tie for fourth on the Penguins' single-season shutout list.

The 28-year-old Swede stopped 11 shots in the first period and eight in each of the last two for his second shutout in the last four starts. He had to reach behind to snare a loose puck on the goal line off defenseman Tomas Kaberle's chance from close range in the final minute of the opening period.

With Toronto on the power play, Hedberg denied defenseman Bryan McCabe's slap shot from the blue line, then recovered to deny Kaberle through traffic with 8:15 left in the third period. He also gobbled up Jonas Hoglund's snap shot from the right faceoff circle with just over a minute to play.

The Maple Leafs pulled goaltender Curtis Joseph twice in the final minute but never seriously tested Hedberg and were denied a third straight win.

Lang put Pittsburgh ahead for good with 2:03 to go in the first period. Alexei Kovalev carried down the right side and managed to slide a backhanded cross-ice pass while falling. Lang wristed a shot from the edge of the left circle past Joseph's glove for his team-best eighth goal.

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