The Penguins (17-8-0), who have won four straight, continued their high-offensive output, but still struggled both defensively and on the penalty kill, as they gave up an early two-point lead. Each of the past four games have been determined by one goal.
Neal scored his 16th goal of the season 36 seconds into the game. Later in the first period, Toronto’s (15-10-1) James van Riemsdyk tied the game at one on a power play off of a Beau Bennett high-sticking penalty. Crosby and Paul Martin each had a goal before the end of the period within less than a minute of each other, giving the Pens the 3-1 lead going into the second period.
Mid-way through the second, Cody Franson brought the score within one with a power play goal off of a Crosby tripping penalty. Pascal Dupuis then added his ninth of the season, making the score 4-2 in favor of the Penguins. One minute later, however, Clarke MacArthur brought the score back within one, sending the game into second intermission with the score 4-3 Penguins.
Toronto brought a different offense to the third period. Keeping play in the Penguin’s zone and quick puck movements gave the Leafs the advantage in the final period. After several missed attempts, Phil Kessel lit the lamp with less than five minutes remaining in the game, tying the score at five and sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, both teams came close, but neither could find the back of the net, forcing the Penguins’ second shootout of the season, and the Leafs’ first.
Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri shot for the Leafs but neither were successful in getting the puck past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Neal and Crosby each made their shot, giving the Penguins the two points.
The Penguins out-shot the Leaf’s 41-26. Fleury made 22 saves, and Leafs’ goaltender James Reimer made 37 saves.
The Pens have no time to rest, as they head back to Pittsburgh Sunday to take on the Islanders at 7:00 pm.