Andersen makes 31 saves, Maple Leafs beat Penguins 5-0
Andersen made 31 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall and the Maple Leafs routed the high-scoring Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 on Saturday night.
“It’s a tough building against a really good team,” Andersen said. “We were talking about the first period being key for us and I thought we came out flying, skating really well and we didn’t allow too much.”
Morgan Rielly scored twice and John Tavares had a goal and an assist to help Toronto improve to 6-0 on the road. The Maple Leafs are averaging an NHL-best 5.4 goals on the road. Zach Hyman and Patrick Marleau also scored and Kasperi Kapanen had two assists.
The Maple Leafs picked up their first win with star forward Auston Matthews out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. Toronto scored just one goal in each of its two straight regulation losses without Matthews, who has 10 goals and 16 points in 11 games.
“Guys are willing and able to accept more responsibility, more minutes and bigger situations,” Rielly said. “The strength of this team is the depth. I think there are lots of guys that can take that responsibility.’
Evgeni Malkin saw his nine-game point streak end for the Penguins. They have lost three straight.
“You win a few games in a row and you feel good about yourself, but the league has a funny way of humbling you and right now we’ve been humbled,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We didn’t deserve to win tonight.”
The Penguins were swept in a home-and-home series with the New York Islanders on Tuesday and Thursday. They won their previous four games in Canada by a combined 23-6 margin, including a 3-0 shutout at Toronto on Oct. 18.
Pittsburgh went 61-15-6 at home, finishing with at least 30 home wins each of the last two seasons. But the Penguins won just two of their first six home games this season. Carolina was the last team to shut out the Penguins at home on Jan. 4 during the 2017-18 season.
“We got beat by a team that was hungry,” Sullivan said. “When we come with the right attitude and emotional investment, the rest of our game follows suit. If we’re not invested, we can look ordinary, and I think that was the case tonight.”
Tavares opened the scoring midway through the first period when he tipped a Mitch Marner shot behind Murray. Tavares opened the season with six goals in his first four games, but he had just one in his next nine before scoring on Saturday.
Marleau gave the Leafs a 2-0 lead just 44 seconds into the second period. Marleau took a pass from Kapanen off the rush and slipped a backhand deke behind Murray from the top of the crease.
Rielly made it 3-0 12 seconds after a power play expired. He snuck behind the Penguins’ defense off the rush, took a pass from Tavares and lifted a glove-side wrist shot underneath the crossbar.
“We’re looking forward to getting home,” Rielly said. “It’s important we get some wins at home. We feel good about going on the road, but it’s time we start to assert ourselves.”
NOTES: The Maple Leafs are 4-0 when they score first. … Penguins’ F Derick Brassard missed his fourth straight game with a lower-body injury. … Penguins’ D Jack Johnson played in his 800th NHL game and F Carl Hagelin appeared in his 500th game. … The Maple Leafs recalled F Trevor Moore from Toronto of the American Hockey League on Friday, but he was scratched.
Maple Leafs: Host Vegas on Tuesday night.
Penguins: Host New Jersey on Monday night.