Skip to main content

Bolland, Reimer lead Maple Leafs past Penguins

by Joe Yerdon /

TORONTO – Dave Bolland had two goals and James Reimer stopped 37 shots to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre.

Bolland tied the game at 1-1 late in the first period with a shorthanded goal and capped Toronto's three-goal third period by hitting the empty net, giving him six goals in 12 games for the Maple Leafs (8-4-0).

"I look at it in [Bolland] that he's been everything that we've asked because a player that you can move up and down your lineup, he plays and practices at a very high pace," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said.

The Penguins opened the scoring at 6:52 of the first period on the power play when Evgeni Malkin fed Kris Letang, who beat Reimer through the five-hole for his first of the season.

Pittsburgh got another power-play chance when Carl Gunnarsson went off for hooking at 14:59, but Bolland tied the game when he got to the high slot and blasted a high slap shot that beat Marc-Andre Fleury at 16:33. The play happened after Reimer made a big save on Malkin to keep the Penguins from scoring.

"That was a weird play," Reimer said. "He spun around and a guy down went down to block it and off him and just tipped to the side. I just tried to get a leg out. Lucky enough I did, and then the guys fell back and collapsed on the rebound. Goalie makes the first save and my teammates stepped in and did the rest."

The period wouldn't end without incident as Toronto's David Clarkson hit Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi along the boards with 16.8 seconds to play, dropping him to the ice. Scuderi needed help to the locker room and did not return. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he has a lower-body injury and he'll be reevaluated on Sunday.

"I've seen the replay and ... he just gets hit shoulder-on-shoulder," Bylsma said. "I don't know if he got lifted off his feet a little bit and comes down [and got hurt]. I don't know exactly, it's not really clearly evident by a big hit or anything in that situation. I don't know exactly what happened to cause the injury."

The second period saw the Penguins turn up the pressure outshooting the Maple Leafs 16-4, but Reimer stopped all of them, including a pair of key leg saves on Pascal Dupuis.

"You don't win in this League without goaltending that gives you a chance, and [Reimer] gives us a chance," Carlyle said.

Nazem Kadri put the Maple Leafs ahead for good when he scored his fourth goal of the season at 1:26 of the third, beating the Penguins' defense and deking Fleury. Kadri played on the Maple Leafs' first line with James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel in place of injured center Tyler Bozak.

"I don't exactly know how the 3-on-2 came about, I can't really remember," Kadri said. "It seemed like a half-ice 3-on-2. [Van Riemsdyk] made a great play and drove the net. It opened up the top lane to pass to me, and I was able to make a move at the end."

Kessel's power-play goal at 17:05 provided some insurance before Bolland hit the empty net. Kessel was wide open at the far side of the net and van Riemsdyk connected with him on a no-look backhand pass while being defended heavily in front of Fleury.

"It's one of those things where I kind of know a little bit where he's going to be," van Riemsdyk said. "He's going to find those little soft areas and if I can get the puck over to him, he's got a pretty big piece of net to shoot at."

Fleury, who sat out Friday night's 4-3 home loss to the New York Islanders, finished with 26 saves. NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby was held without a point for only the second time this season. The Maple Leafs matched up against him with Bolland and team captain Dion Phaneuf.

"There are tough minutes for him to accumulate," Carlyle said of Phaneuf. "We think that he does a heck of a job for our hockey club, or else we wouldn't be using him in those situations. I know that it seems to be that there's a love-hate type of relationship at certain times, but there's a lot of love shown from our part as far as a coaching staff."

Reimer improved his career record against the Penguins to 4-0-2.

"They have arguably the best players in the world, and they bring it every time they come and play," Reimer said. "I'm just lucky enough to have teammates step up and play big games. I don't know if it has much to do with me more than the guys in front of me working their butts off."

The Maple Leafs hit the road on Tuesday night to face the Edmonton Oilers. The Penguins will go to Raleigh to face the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

View More