PITTSBURGH — Defenseman Ian White broke a tie with 1:22 to play with his third goal in four games and the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 4-3 victory over the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night.
White gave the Maple Leafs their fourth lead of the game, beating Marc-Andre Fleury with a slap shot from the right point.
Lee Stempniak had a goal and two assists, and Luke Schenn and Jason Blake also scored for the Maple Leafs, who gained at least a point for the fourth time in five games. The victory was only Toronto’s second in its past seven games.
Pittsburgh’s Mike Rupp tied it 53 seconds before White’s goal.
Matt Cooke and Sidney Crosby also scored for the Penguins, who lost in regulation for only the third time since Nov. 27.
Penguins-killer Blake scored his 25th goal and 48th point in 48 games against Pittsburgh — most versus any NHL team — a wrist shot from the slot that beat Fleury with 4:53 to go in the second.
That goal appeared as if it would hold up until Rupp’s 10th, a tap-in from beside the net after reigning league scoring champion Malkin worked to get the puck behind the net and swooped to the faceoff circle before feeding Rupp.
A 20-year-old defenseman, Schenn scored his first of the season and third of his career 2:28 into the contest when his shot from the right point found its way through traffic and appeared to deflect off Penguins defenseman Jay McKee into the net.
Cooke tied it 2:31 later with an unassisted goal, his seventh, when he blocked a shot from Garnet Exelby from the left point, skated down his right wing and — using Rupp as a decoy in what turned into a 2-on-1 — beat Vesa Toskala with a wrist shot.
Stempniak gave the Maple Leafs the second of their four leads when Tomas Kaberle‘s shot from the right point bounced around in front of the net and popped to him and he tucked it into the net for his 10th.
Crosby scored his eighth power-play goal of the season 7:48 into the second when he took the puck from right wing corner, and stickhandled past Schenn to get all the way to the left goal line. His shot banked off the near post and the back of Toskala, with Schenn unintentionally kicking it in for Crosby’s 23rd of the season.
Nine years ago to the day Sunday was Mario Lemieux‘s comeback game from his first retirement, also against Toronto. Lemieux, already inducted into the Hall of Fame and the owner of the team by that point, had a goal and two assists in Pittsburgh’s 5-0 win over the Maple Leafs. … Blake also scored in an overtime loss to Montreal on Saturday night. … The game was the first on a Sunday this season for Toronto. … Maple Leafs LW Alexei Ponikarovsky had two assists.
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