James van Riemsdyk scored twice, James Reimer stopped 28 shots and the Toronto Maple Leafs raced past the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Clarke MacArthur, Mikhail Grabovski and Tyler Bozak also scored for the Maple Leafs. Nikolai Kulemin added three assists as Toronto spoiled Pittsburgh’s home opener.
Sidney Crosby and reigning NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin scored their first goals of the season for Pittsburgh, but the Penguins struggled with Toronto’s speed and failed to play with the kind of discipline that highlighted opening weekend wins.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 19 shots for the Penguins.
Malkin ended his drought – such as it is for a player who scored 23 goals while playing in Russia as the lockout dragged on – late in the first period when he stuffed a pass from Crosby in between Reimer’s legs to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.
For the first time this season, it didn’t hold up.
Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma spoke openly about the problems Toronto’s quickness provides, saying his team gave the Maple Leafs a little too much room to operate last season.
Any attempts by the Penguins to tighten up, however, came up woefully short. Even with Bylsma experimenting with his lines – on a couple of occasions he paired Crosby and Malkin in even-strength situations – Pittsburgh looked a step slow.
Toronto scored twice early in the second period to jump in front, including van Riemsdyk’s first goal for Toronto after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Flyers. Crosby needed just 25 seconds to tie it, beating Reimer between the legs on a breakaway.
The speedy Maple Leafs just kept coming, with van Riemsdyk collecting his second goal of the night after intercepting a sloppy clearing attempt by Malkin and firing the puck over Fleury’s glove to give Toronto a 3-2 lead.