TORONTO – Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were flying at him, but James Reimer remained calm.
As the Pittsburgh Penguins turned up the heat, Toronto’s starting goaltender was there to stifle them time and again. Reimer finished with 37 saves as the Maple Leafs beat the Penguins 4-1 Saturday night at Air Canada Centre.
Making his first start since Oct. 17, when he left with a head injury after 32 seconds, Reimer was stellar after giving up a power-play goal to Kris Letang. He made a highlight-reel right-pad save on Pascal Dupuis on a two-on-one rush and flashed a quick glove hand to make a series of saves while the Leafs were again being outshot.
Reimer got his third victory of the season after the Leafs’ offence finally gave him some support. Nazem Kadri, centring the first line in place of the injured Tyler Bozak, scored the game-winner on a pretty passing play early in the third period.
After complaining of poor starts, the Leafs matched the Penguins’ jump in Saturday night as neither team looked like it was playing the second half of back-to-backs. The first period was arguably one of Toronto’s best all season, thanks to plenty of sustained offensive pressure.
That was even considering the Penguins took a 1-0 lead 6:52 in after Malkin found Letang streaking toward the net for the defenceman’s first goal of the year.
© The Canadian Press, 2013