McGinn scores as Penguins beat Maple Leafs 4-2

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TORONTO (AP) — Brock McGinn and Jake Guentzel scored in the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins edge the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Friday night.

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which earned its second straight win since falling seven games. Jason Zucker also scored and Casey DeSmith made 28 saves.

William Nylander and Zach Aston-Reese scored for Toronto in its second straight loss. Erik Kallgren made 19 saves.

This year’s class for the Hockey Hall of Fame – including Daniel Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Daniel Alfredsson and the late Herb Carnegie – were honored before the puck was dropped.

Henrik Sedin is also expected to be consecrated on Monday, but is recovering from an episode of COVID-19 and was not present.

McGinn broke a tie with his third goal of the season 1:54 into the third. McGinn fired a shot that went through the legs of Toronto defenseman Mark Giordano and Kallgren.

The Maple Leafs retired their goalie with less than two minutes left in regulation time, but Guentzel got an empty goal with 12.1 seconds left.

“A clinic of the Pittsburgh Penguins in terms of how they defended,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said of the third. “We were often on the wall, but we couldn’t find our way through it.

“That’s really the difference in the game.”

Toronto opened the scoring 13:49 into the first when Aston-Reese, who played five seasons in Pittsburgh, rebounded past DeSmith for his second of the season.

“It’s just awkward,” Aston-Reese said of former teammates. “Kind of like going to dinner with your ex-girlfriend.”

The Leafs looked set to take that lead in the first intermission, but Malkin scored his sixth after Auston Matthews couldn’t clear the defensive zone.

Chad Ruhwedel’s point shot hit Toronto defenseman TJ Brodie in front and fell on Malkin, who buried the equalizer in a wide-open net.

Malkin, who also picked up two penalties in the first period, had 67 career points (24 goals, 43 assists) in 41 games against Toronto.

“He was in beast mode,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “He was a threat all night.

“When he plays the game the way we’ve all grown accustomed to watching him over the years, the puck follows him.”

Pittsburgh then took the lead 68 seconds into the second, capping a chaotic shift.

Leafs wingers Mitch Marner and Alexander Kerfoot couldn’t connect on a 2-on-0 break before the puck went the other way, Malkin finding Zucker on a no-look pass. It was Zucker’s fourth of the season.

The Leafs responded on their third late-period power play. Nylander, who hit the post earlier on the power play, had a one-timer for his sixth on a nice Morgan Rielly fake at 17:17.

HELLO SALMANT

Leafs great Borje Salming received a huge ovation in an emotional pre-game ceremony honoring this year’s Hall of Fame inductees.

Diagnosed this summer with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – the former defender was surrounded by fellow franchise icons Darryl Sittler and Mats Sundin.

Tears streaming down his cheeks, Sittler lifted Salming’s arm so he could wave to the crowd.

“He was the first (Swede) to break through and lead the way with his tenacity and leadership,” Nylander said. “He represents a lot of Swedes and he’s done a great job.

“It’s so sad to see him go through what he’s going through.”

NEXT

Penguins: In Montreal Saturday night for the final of a three-game trip.

Maple Leafs: Host Vancouver Saturday night for the three-game home finale.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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