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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Leafs' Reimer stymies potent Pens

Withstands buzz saw attack to post third victory of season

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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 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 same lack of discipline that cost the Leafs on Friday night in a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets looked like it would hurt them again. They took four minor penalties in the first period, but one of them paved the way for a short-handed goal.

With Leafs defenceman Carl Gunnarsson serving his hooking penalty, captain Dion Phaneuf hit Dave Bolland with a slap pass up the middle. Bolland wound up from above the faceoff circles and beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a slap shot to tie the score 16:33 into the first.

The Penguins dominated the second period, outshooting the Leafs 16-4, but Reimer was the difference. He stopped Brandon Sutter on a two-on-one rush with Tanner Glass, then Dupuis, who was set up perfectly by Joe Vitale except for Reimer's right pad getting in the way.

Reimer didn't stop there, denying Crosby on a one-timer at the side of the net and looking the puck all the way into his glove on a deflection in front from Matt D'Agostini, who was making his season debut. When D'Agostini shot high on Reimer, the 25-year-old flaunted a glove save to the delight of many of the 19,539 fans in attendance.

The Leafs were missing yet another forward after Bozak suffered a lower-body injury Friday night. That pressed Carter Ashton into the lineup and Kadri into duty as the first-line centre between James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel.

That trio may not be together for long, but they were in sync when it mattered against the Penguins, connecting for two goals.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 27, 2013 B4

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