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Penguins Vs. Maple Leafs: New Arrival Alex Kovalev Comes Up Big In Shootout Victory

The Penguins topped the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night 6-5 in a back-and-forth game that ended with new acquisition Alex Kovalev scoring the decisive shootout goal.

The Leafs' Joffrey Lupul scored the first goal of the game, on a power play late in the first period, but Kovalev answered with a goal of his own as the period came to a close. Colby Armstrong's goal in the middle of the second period gave Toronto a 2-1 lead, but Mark Letestu and Dustin Jeffrey scored late in the period to make it 3-2 Pens.

Clarke MacArthur and Lupul scored early in the third period, however, to give the Leafs the lead yet again. Max Talbot scored a shorthanded goal a few minutes later to tie the game, but Dion Phaneuf almost immediately added a power play goal to give Toronto another lead. Mike Rupp beat James Reimer midway through the period to tie the game for the Pens, however, and the game headed into overtime.

In the shootout, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped shots by Lopul, Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski, while Kovalev scored on the Pens' second attempt.

The win stopped the bleeding for the Pens, who are still just 3-5-2 in their last ten games after losing several stars to injury. The Maple Leafs, 6-1-3 in their last ten and making a surprising playoff push, are five points back of the Carolina Panthers for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.