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John Tavares scores 400th career goal, Leafs clip Penguins

Sportsnaut
Nov 15, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray (30) makes a save with Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jason Zucker (16) in front of the net as Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin (38) defends during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Bunting had two goals and an assist, and John Tavares notched his 400th career goal to go along with a helper on Tuesday as the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs downed the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2.

Tavares left late in the third after taking a high stick.

William Nylander tallied a goal and an assist, and Mitch Marner also scored for the Maple Leafs, who won their second in a row and are 5-1-1 over their past seven games.

Toronto goaltender Matt Murray, a former two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Penguins who was starting for the first time back in Pittsburgh, made 35 saves in his return from a groin injury.

Rickard Rakell and Sidney Crosby scored for the Penguins, who have lost two straight and are 2-7-2 in their past 11 contests.

Pittsburgh goaltender Casey DeSmith made 28 saves.

Tavares opened the scoring with goal No. 400. His shot from the top of the slot made its way through a crowded crease area to make it 1-0 at 12:04 of the first.

Marner made it 2-0 and extended his point streak to 10 games at 15:04 of the first. Morgan Reilly, from the right dot, fed Marner on the far side of the crease, and Marner swept the puck around DeSmith.

Toronto upped its lead to 3-0 when Bunting scored 11 seconds into the second. Off the period-opening faceoff, Bunting went in on a two-on-one with Auston Matthews against Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang and converted off a feed from Matthews.

Just under a minute later, Rakell pulled the Penguins to within 3-1. Following Jason Zucker’s shot from above the right circle, Rakell deflected it past Murray’s glove.

Pittsburgh got within a goal, 3-2, at 2:38 of the second when Crosby scored on a backhander from the right hash marks. That gave Crosby 1,426 career points, moving him into sole possession of 17th place on the all-time points list.

Bunting’s second goal restored Toronto’s two-goal lead. From near the top left corner of the crease, he redirected a shot by Pontus Holmberg to make it 4-2 with 49.7 seconds left in the second.

Nylander added an empty-netter with 2:23 left to play.

–Field Level Media