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game recap

Maple Leafs blank Penguins, gain in Atlantic

Andersen makes 24 saves, Muzzin has goal, two assists for Toronto

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Andersen's 18th NHL shutout

PIT@TOR: Andersen fuels Maple Leafs with shutout

Frederik Andersen stopped all 24 shots he faced, recording his 18th career NHL shutout in the Maple Leafs' 4-0 win against the Penguins

  • 00:35 •

TORONTO -- Frederik Andersen made 24 saves when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.

Jake Muzzin had a goal and two assists for the Maple Leafs (32-22-8), who lost 5-2 to the Penguins on Tuesday in the first half of a home-and-home. Toronto, which had lost two in a row, moved two points ahead of the Florida Panthers for third in the Atlantic Division. Florida lost 5-4 at the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

"It was great. We responded the way we wanted to," Andersen said. "Guys played really good. Jake Muzzin especially, I thought he was unbelievable today. We just stuck with our game for the most part. It was a complete effort and a great response from everyone. That's what we want to be like."

 

[WATCH: Penguins vs. Lightning highlights]

 

Matt Murray made 26 saves for the Penguins (37-16-6), who had won three straight. Pittsburgh is tied with the Washington Capitals for first in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals lost 4-3 to the Montreal Canadiens in overtime Thursday.

"I don't think we came into this game with a big head or thinking we were better than we are," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "I don't think that was the case. For the most part, we're a hard-working team and come with the right mentality every night. Tonight we had a good first period but then we give up a goal, take a 5-on-3. Ideally we stop the damage at that and give ourselves a chance to get back in, but it didn't happen."

Muzzin gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead at 7:45 of the second period when he scored from the left point.

"Enjoy tonight, remember what it felt like, the mindset we had coming in and bring it again," the defenseman said. "We have to be desperate, all points matter coming down the stretch. We did a much better job defensively closing on loose pucks. We had a lot more talking in our own zone as well, which helped exiting our zone."

Video: PIT@TOR: Muzzin rips puck by Murray for opening goal

With Toronto on a 5-on-3 power play, William Nylander took a pass from Auston Matthews in the left face-off circle and shot between Murray's pads to make it 2-0 at 10:01. John Tavares won the offensive-zone face-off against Teddy Blueger four seconds earlier.

"Anytime you get a 5-on-3 and are able to win the draw clean, you're able to get a good look right off of it, so it was a good play by Auston [to get it over] and a great shot by William," Tavares said.

Video: PIT@TOR: Nylander whips home PPG to double lead

Kasperi Kapanen made it 3-0 on a breakaway at 13:04 after taking a lead pass from Alexander Kerfoot.

"That goal just shows we were breaking out well and were making good passes and using our speed," Kapanen said. "Muzzin and Kerfoot made great plays, and I was able to get open and put it in the net."

Video: PIT@TOR: Kapanen beats Murray on breakaway in 2nd

Zach Hyman extended the lead to 4-0 at 3:56 of the third period when he jammed in a rebound at the top of the goal crease.

"It's in here for us to play like we did," Muzzin said. "Having that competitiveness and that compete, the physicality and just letting our skill take over from there. Now it's just about bringing it every night."

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said, "We have to go back to work. The first thing we have to do is recognize [our mistakes], and then you've got to pay attention to details. We didn't deserve to win tonight. They played better than us, they outplayed us. They got what they deserved, and so did we."

Video: Andersen earns the Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

 

They said it

"They're a really good team in the offensive zone, and unfortunately we didn't play enough in their zone and wear them down down there. A lot of times early in shifts they had a lot of energy to work and move and do what they do in the offensive zone. Our forecheck and our ability to win battles to keep the puck in their end wasn't good, and because of that we spent a lot of the game in our end." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

"[We need to] come with urgency I think, be [angry] when we get here. We want to play for every point. It's important. We learned a lot from that previous game in Pittsburgh, and we showed today that we have the personnel and the right skill sets. When we play like this, we can compete with anyone." -- Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen

 

Need to know

Maple Leafs forward Denis Malgin played 15:20 and was plus-1 in his Toronto debut after being traded from the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. … Penguins forward Dominik Kahun left at 14:14 of the third after blocking Malgin's shot with his left foot. Sullivan had no update on him. … Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang's point streak ended at six games.

 

What's next

Penguins: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, CBC, SN360, SNO, SNW, SNP, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

Video: Muzzin, Andersen power Maple Leafs' 4-0 shutout win

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