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Maple Leafs return home to face Penguins

by Mike Battaglino /

PENGUINS (7-3-0) at MAPLE LEAFS (7-4-0)


Last 10: Toronto 6-4-0

Season series: This is the first of three meetings this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the final two of three against the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, one in a shootout.

Big story: Each team played Friday and had to travel to Toronto after failing to become the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach eight wins. Pittsburgh, playing at home, lost to the New York Islanders 4-3, allowing three third-period goals. Toronto lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2, allowing four third-period goals.

Team Scope:

Penguins: After winning their first five home games, Pittsburgh lost two in a row at Consol Energy Center before heading out for a two-game road trip.

Rookie Jeff Zatkoff made his second start in goal Friday, leaving Marc Andre-Fleury to play this one.

"We would have loved to give him his first win, especially with the way he played," Crosby said of Zatkoff. "It's disappointing, it's disappointing that we couldn't finish the job. We played a pretty good game all in all, besides the last 7-10 minutes ... it's frustrating but we're going to have to turn the page pretty quick here."

Maple Leafs: After holding the Anaheim Ducks to 25 shots on goal in a 4-2 win Tuesday (its first game allowing less than 31), Toronto faced 36 shot at Columbus. It's the seventh time the Maple Leafs have seen at least that many.

"When you give up the number of chances we did in the first [period], and then come back …," coach Randy Carlyle said. "The power plays were definitely lopsided (6-3 for Columbus), then we get a break to go 4-on-3 and we give up a shorthanded [goal], kind of set the table for what happened tonight."

Forward David Clarkson made his Maple Leafs debut after serving a 10-game suspension incurred in the preseason. He was minus-1 with four shots, one hit and two penalty minutes -- Columbus scored during his first-period penalty for holding.

"I think he looked rusty," Carlyle said. "The one thing you know he's going to try, he's going to work. The other things, as far as the stick-handling, the turnovers and stuff, you have to give the guy some slack. He hasn't played any games this year. Everybody else has got 10 games ahead of him."

Jonathan Bernier made his third straight start in goal, so James Reimer is likely to play this one.

Who's hot: Crosby has scored in nine of 10 games, with eight goals and 10 assists. ... Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel followed a hat trick Tuesday with a goal Friday. James van Riemsdyk has seven points in the past five games.

Injury report: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (lower body) played 25:32 in his first game of the season Friday. Forwards Beau Bennett (lower body), James Neal (upper body) and Matt D'Agostini (lower body), and goaltender Tomas Vokoun (pelvis) are on injured reserve. ... Maple Leafs forward Frazer McLaren (finger) returned Friday. Forward Joffrey Lupul (foot) was scratched. Forward Nikolai Kulemin (ankle) and defenseman Mark Fraser (knee) are on injured reserve.

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