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.
A puck win from Kerfoot behind the net, a short pass from Benn, and John Tavares pots his 400th career NHL goal!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rickard Rakell puts the Pens on the board pic.twitter.com/sKLSERLQy9— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 16, 2022
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.
Sidney Crosby makes it 3-2— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 16, 2022
costly mistake from Sandin pic.twitter.com/46znPB0H5r
Phantom tripping call on Giordano. Murray made a couple important stops on the power play to kill it off.
Giordano got a penalty for getting hit and falling off balance pic.twitter.com/IcHzNyLNCS— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 16, 2022
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.
His name is Jordie Benn and he robbed Sidney Crosby pic.twitter.com/dtNlDLYClx— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 16, 2022
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!
Maple Leafs F Pontus Holmberg has recorded his first NHL point with a second period assist in Pittsburgh.— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) November 16, 2022
The Pens out-shot the Leafs 17-22, but the Leafs kept 5v5 even with 49% of the expected goals share.
Leafs went back to boring hockey in the third.
pass it, pass it, pass it, pass it, okay dump it, dump it, dump it, okay... pic.twitter.com/5wkSoYvZpn— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 16, 2022
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.
Tavares went to the room after getting clipped by this Petry follow through pic.twitter.com/wc4nGMS77x— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 16, 2022
Willy scored the empty netter.