Win streak hits seven games

Penguins 3, Maple Leafs 2 / Pascal Dupuis fires up two goals and adds an assist in victory for rookie goaltender Brad Thiessen
March 8, 2012 6:30 am
  • Pascal Dupuis, right, celebrates the first of his two goals Wednesday night.
    Pascal Dupuis, right, celebrates the first of his two goals Wednesday night.
  • Joe Vitale tries to protect the puck as he maneuvers in front of Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins won, 3-2, to run their winning streak to seven games.
    Joe Vitale tries to protect the puck as he maneuvers in front of Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins won, 3-2, to run their winning streak to seven games.
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"We obviously wanted to play well in front of him and take away as many shots as we can, and he did a great job of stepping up with some big saves at the end," Staal said.

Thiessen faced just three shots in the opening period, but Kessel gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead one minute into the second while both teams were down a man because of penalties.

He took a feed from Jake Gardiner and tossed the puck into an open net from the left side after Thiessen had gotten knocked over in front of the crease by Toronto forward Tyler Bozak. Replays showed that Orpik checked Bozak into Thiessen.

"There was a little bit of contact," Orpik said. "It happened so quick. Those [officials] have a tough job to do. ... It was something you maybe look back on if you lose. When you win, you just move on."

Carl Gunnarsson made it 2-0 at 7:36, when a Mikhail Grabovski shot from above the right hash hit his stick and got past Thiessen, but the Penguins rebounded quickly as Dupuis got them back within one with his 16th of the season at 9:25.

He set up in the slot in front of the Toronto crease and, with his back to the net, deflected a Matt Niskanen slap shot past Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

Staal picked up the second assist on that goal, giving him a six-game points streak that matches the longest of his career, then pulled the Penguins even at 1:34 of the third, as he steered an Orpik shot past Gustavsson for his 22nd.

"[Orpik] did a nice job of corralling it and getting it on net," Staal said. "And I was fortunate enough to get a good angle on it."

Dupuis capped the Penguins comeback at 4:10, shoveling a backhander between Gustavsson's legs from inside the right circle for his first multiple-goal game since April 5.

It was a shot that likely should have been stopped, but it wasn't. And that was enough to get the Penguins a couple of points, and Dupuis a little more attention than usual.

"Pascal doesn't get a lot of notoriety for what he does on the ice," Bylsma said. "But he definitely affects things in a lot of ways."

Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com or Twitter @MolinariPG.
First Published 2012-03-07 23:20:06

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