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Maple Leafs Host Penguins Seeking First Win

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

PENGUINS (1-0-0) at MAPLE LEAFS (0-1-0)


Season series: The Pittsburgh Penguins won two of three games against the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. Toronto's James van Riemsdyk led all scorers with five points (two goals). Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang and forward Evgeni Malkin led the Penguins with two goals and four points apiece, though each missed one of the three games.

Penguins team scope: Malkin had an assist in Pittsburgh's 6-4 season-opening victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. His ice time was limited to 16:58 after he missed all of the preseason games with an undisclosed injury, and he admitted he's not in top shape. "I didn't feel good," Malkin said of his conditioning, according to the Penguins website. "It was hard. I'm not in shape. I wanted to play the first game because I'm not injured and we played at home. I will just keep going every game. We had a nice practice. We win. That's good, but I should play better." Pittsburgh swapped defensemen with its American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, recalling Scott Harrington and demoting Taylor Chorney.

Maple Leafs team scope: Toronto's fourth line could have a new look. One day after being claimed from the Tampa Bay Lightning on waivers, Richard Panik took a regular shift at practice on right wing on a line with Peter Holland and Daniel Winnik. Coach Randy Carlyle wouldn't confirm that Panik would play Saturday, but Panik would add offense to a line that managed three shots in a 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. "I'm a big guy [6-foot-2], I can make plays, drive to the net, be hard to play against," Panik said after his first practice when asked what he can contribute. Matt Frattin, who saw the least time of any forward against the Canadiens, is the likeliest candidate to be scratched; he dressed as an extra Friday. Jonathan Bernier is expected to start in goal, with James Reimer making his season debut on the road against the New York Rangers on Sunday.

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