KITCHENER, ONTARIO – Dustin Jeffrey’s goal – his second of the game – with just 31 seconds to play forced overtime, and Tyler Kennedy netted the lone shootout goal, to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 6-5 come-from-behind victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Kitchener Rookie Tournament on Friday night.
The win gives the Pens a 1-0-0 record in the four-team, round-robin tournament heading into Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers. The host Panthers posted a 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators earlier in the day.
The Penguins spotted the Leafs a 4-0 lead after just 21 minutes of play, and fell behind by a 5-1 margin early in the third period, before rattling off four goals in the final 12 and a half minutes of regulation to force extra time.
Darryl Boyce, Robbie Earl and Geoff Walker gave Toronto a 3-0 lead after the first period, and Anton Stralman extended that 57 seconds into the second.
Mark Letestu got the Penguins on the board at 4:09 of the second, taking a Tyler Kennedy feed and popping it into the upper corner.
The score remained 4-1 until Walker picked up his second of the game five and a half minutes into the third period to reestablish the four-goal cushion.
It was all Penguins from there though, as Jeffrey (two goals), Kris Letang and Alex Grant found the back of the net.
Kennedy was the only player to score in the shootout for either team, as goaltender David Brown stopped all three Maple Leafs shots he faced in the one-on-one portion of the night. The rookie netminder from Notre Dame stopped 26 of 31 shots during regulation and overtime.
NOTES: Scratches for the Penguins were center Matt Caria and defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Jean-Phillippe Paquet…Jonathan Filewich and Ryan Stone were designated alternate captains for the Penguins…The Penguins will face the host Florida Panthers on Saturday at 2 p.m., and square off with the Ottawa Senators on Sunday at 2 p.m. The third and fourth place teams from the round robin portion of the tournament face off in the consolation game Monday afternoon at 2 p.m., while the first and second place finishers meet for the championship at 6 p.m. that evening…Florida defeated Ottawa, 2-1, in Friday’s first game.
Scoring: 1. TOR – Boyce (Leveille, Perry) 8:32 - PP; 2. TOR – Earl (Foster) 10:33; 3. TOR – Walker (Stralman, Mitchell) 14:34
Penalties: PIT – Boogaard (Holding) 7:37; PIT – Letang (Slashing) 19:40
Scoring: 4. TOR - Stralman (Unassisted) – 0:57 – PP; 5. PIT – Letestu (Kennedy, Cputi) 4:09
Penalties: TOR – Perry (Cross Check) 5:48; PIT – Henderson (Interference) 8:51; TOR – DiDomenico (Slashing) 16:18; TOR – Earl (Roughing) 19:45; TOR – Oreskovic (Holding) 19:54
Scoring: 6. TOR – Walker (Tlusty, DiDomenico) 5:38; 7. PIT – Jeffrey (Stone) 7:43; 8. PIT – Letang (Stone, Jeffrey) 11:02; 9. PIT – Grant (Unassisted) 11:43; 10. PIT – Jeffrey (Stone, Letang) 19:29
Penalties: TOR – Stralman (High Sticking) 0:43; PIT – Stone (Tripping) 1:37; TOR – Earl (Slashing) 13:43; PIT – Rank (Hooking) 15:08
Penalties: TOR – Leveille (Interference) 2:08; TOR – Tsimikalis (Hooking) 4:54
PIT – Kennedy (goal), Letestu (no goal)
TOR – Tlusty (no goal), Walker (no goal), Aubin (no goal)