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Recap: Murray makes many saves, Leafs beat Penguins

Strong performance from the former Pens goalie

NHL: NOV 15 Maple Leafs at Penguins
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 15: Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Matt Murray (30) makes a save on Pittsburgh Penguins Defenseman Kris Letang (58) in front during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 15, 2022, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.
Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 in Matt Murray’s first game back in the city where he won two Stanley Cups. Michael Bunting scored twice, John Tavares scored his 400th career milestone goal, and Mitch Marner added another in the win. Pontus Holmberg earned his first career point on Bunting’s first goal of the game. William Nylander scored the empty netter.

Auston Matthews had eight shot attempts in the game and finished with two assists, joining Tavares and Bunting with two points. Marner and Malgin were second on the Leafs in shots with five each. This was only the second five-goal game from the Leafs this season.

Murray was excellent in his return from injury, making all the big saves he needed to, especially in the second period, for a total of 1.43 goals saved above expected on 36 shots against.

Matt Murray makes up for his defense

First Period

Mr. 400

A puck win from Kerfoot behind the net, a short pass from Benn, and John Tavares pots his 400th career NHL goal!

2-0

John to Morgan to Mitch and in! Marner and Tavares just make sense as Tavares helps Marner penetrate the middle of the ice, create openings for passing plays, and Morgan Rielly jumping in to help break the game open.

After One

It was a good first period for the Leafs, not only scoring two goals to the other team’s goose egg, but they also led 20-18 in shots and carried 54% of the expected goals.

Second Period

3-0

Off the opening faceoff, Matthews gives Bunting a tap-in! Whew he needed that. Good puck battling from Willy there to spring Matthews. It opened up the 2-on-1 high.

3-1

The Penguins got on the board with Rakell off the cycle with a screen in front, immediately bringing the game back to a two-goal spread.

3-2

Oh, Rasmus. Another fundamental mistake and giveaway from the guy who bet on himself and Crosby made no mistake to bring the game back to one. If Muzzin and Brodie weren’t out and there weren’t really any alternatives with the cap, I would shake things up with Sandin and get him out of the poor season he’s had so far. He’s been the worst Leaf.

Phantom tripping call on Giordano. Murray made a couple important stops on the power play to kill it off.

Bunting and Rutta had a kerfuffle at the first whistle after the power play. No, Kerfoot did not leg it over to the kerfuffle.

Then we got 10 minutes of no defense, free for all with big chances on both sides. Benn stopped two goals at the line against Crosby. Matthews got the puck all alone in the offensive zone but missed.

4-2

Bunting with his second of the game from Holmberg this time. The rookie found the puck in the scrum and shovelled a backhand that got through (classic SHL Holmberg) and it was Bunting falling into the net that got credit for the goal. So close to the rookie’s debut goal, but it is his first assist!

After Two

The Pens out-shot the Leafs 17-22, but the Leafs kept 5v5 even with 49% of the expected goals share.

Third Period

Leafs went back to boring hockey in the third.

Malgin took a high sticking penalty. Stop me if you heard this before in the recap, but Matt Murray made the two big saves he needed to, including a top shelf shoulder save that allowed the Leafs to go the other way. And of course going the other way was Jordie Benn nearly scoring.

Kerfoot had a wide open net in front of him after a defender fell on the rush, AND HE PASSED IT! He’s a parody of himself.

Tavares left the game with four minutes left to deal with a bloody nose. He got high-sticked without a call.

5-2

Willy scored the empty netter.