Two goals from Dupuis lead Penguins past Maple Leafs
TORONTO -- With time running out and a six-game winning streak on the line, Pascal Dupuis scored twice in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins came back from a goal down to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Craig Adams added an empty-netter for Pittsburgh while Tyler Bozak scored for the Leafs.
Dupuis got the winner at 17:50 of the third when Chris Kunitz fed him a pass from the left boards. Dupuis had time to snap home winner past Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens' glove.
"I'm not sure I liked the drama," said Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "It was a game where I don't think we played as well with the puck. It was a pretty choppy game from our standpoint but we didn't give up a lot."
Scrivens made 25 saves while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all but one of the 29 shots he faced.
The result extended Toronto's losing streak to four games while Pittsburgh won its seventh game in a row.
After the game, the Toronto locker room was rather upbeat considering their lead had evaporated in the last eight minutes of the game but they still need to find a way to close out teams.
"It's not all doom and gloom but it's doom and gloom when you lose the way you lost because it tears at your fabric and it tears at your heart," said Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle. "We're finding a way to lose a game instead of finding a way to win a game."
Bozak opened the scoring at 10:01 of the second period when he capped off a nice passing play also involving Phil Kessel and Cody Franson.
Kessel passed cross ice to the right side to Cody Franson, who waited for a hole to open up before going diagonally to Bozak.
Bozak had the time to drop to one knee and flick the puck over Fleury who scrambled across his crease in vain to try to stop the puck.
"This one's a tough one to swallow," said Franson. "We thought we gave a good effort right until the last portion of the game. Our couple mistakes bit us and it's a bitter taste but you don't have any time to dwell on it."
It took until 12:42 of the third period for Dupuis to tie the game.
Kunitz won a battle in the corner in the Leafs zone and passed to Sidney Crosby who then spun a nice no-look backhand pass to Dupuis who was open on the left side of the Leafs net and he scored easily.
Dupuis was full of praise for the chemistry that exists on the Penguins top line and in the squad as a whole.
"We have in this locker room the feeling that we can come back on any team," said Dupuis. "But it won't happen every night. We can't make it a habit."
The Penguins moved back into a tie for first with the Montreal Canadiens atop the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams have 40 points with Pittsburgh having played one more game.
The Leafs, meanwhile, are in seventh in the conference and are just three points up on the ninth-place New York Rangers.
The Leafs host the Jets in their next game on Saturday while the Penguins' next game is at home on Saturday against the New York Rangers.
NOTES: Prior to the game the Leafs announced they had dealt minor league forward Nicolas Deschamps to the Washington Capitals for minor league defenseman Kevin Marshall. Marshall will be assigned to Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. Deschamps is likely to suit up for the Capitals' AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. ... John-Michael Liles was in the Leafs lineup for the first time after being a healthy scratch for the last 12 games. ... The meeting between the two teams came just six games after Pittsburgh beat Toronto 5-4 in a shootout on March 9, at the Air Canada Centre. ... Penguins forward Joe Vitale appeared in his 100th NHL game.
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