Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens' 5-0 loss to Toronto at PPG Paints Arena...
* The Pens and Maple Leafs squared off in Toronto just over 2 weeks ago. In that contest, Pittsburgh sent a message to the Leafs that it is still the team to beat in the NHL with a 3-0 win. This time around, Toronto sent a message to the Pens that it is a worthy contender for the title. Both clubs have held the opposng dynamic offenses scoreless in a game.
* Let's start a bright spot for Pittsburgh: Matt Murray. The Pens' goaltender was under heavy enemy fire the entire night. He faced an ungodly amount of high quality scoring chances and odd-man rushes. Amazingly, he held his own. Murray had to make 2 spectacular split saves on odd-man rushes. He gave Pittsburgh a chance, but his teammates couldn't give him run support.
* Pittsburgh's efficiency with the puck was the key to the 3-0 win in Toronto. The Pens allowed zero - that's right, zero - odd-man rushes. Tonight was a completely different story. Careless play with the puck and poor judgment on when to vacate open ice led to many great scoring chances for the Maple Leafs. And when you give a team of their offensive caliber that many chances, they will make you suffer.
* The Leafs certainly displayed their high-end talent. John Tavares was particularly impressive as he scored on a beautiful tip from the slot and made a sick pass through two Pens to spring Morgan Rielly for a goal.
Rielly was also very impressive with a pair of goals himself. He scored both with some precision shots.
* Congratulations to Jack Johnson and Carl Hagelin for hitting a couple career milestones in regular-season games played. Johnson played in his 800th career, while Hagelin clocked in at 500.