Penguins Lose to Maple Leafs in OT, Matthews Scores 65th Goal | 4/8/2024

Photo: Frank Gunn via The Canadian Press

The Maple Leafs hosted the Penguins on Monday, April 8th, and came out with a 3-2 overtime win. It had been a close game that would’ve gone either way, but Toronto successfully wrapped it up when Jake McCabe scored the game-winning goal. Auston Matthews recorded his 65th league-leading goal in the Maple Leafs victory, and Rickard Rakell recorded his 200th NHL career goal. The Penguins go back home to host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday and the Maple Leafs take on the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Penguins lineup against the Maple Leafs:

O’Connor – Crosby – Rust

Bunting – Malkin – Rakell

Smith – Eller – Puustinen

Puljujarvi – Carter – Bemstrom

Joseph – Letang

Pettersson – Karlsson

Shea – St. Ivany

Nedeljkovic

Jarry

Maple Leafs lineup against the Penguins:

Bertuzzi – Matthews – Domi

McMann – Tavares – Marner

Knies – Holmberg – Nylander

Dewar – Kampf – Reaves

Rielly – Lyubushkin

Benoit – McCabe

Giordano – Brodie

Samsonov

Woll

   Late into the first period with 1:54 remaining, Rickard Rakell gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead with his 14th goal of the season. Rakell spun and shot past Ilya Samsonov’s glove at the left face-off dot after he received a pass in the slot from Evgeni Malkin.

   Matthew Knies tied it 1-1 early in the second at 14:24 for his 15th goal of the season. He put in TJ Brodie’s cross-crease pass at the left post. In the remainder of the middle frame, the Penguins and Maple Leafs stayed stuck in the tie, heading into the third period.

   Auston Matthews struck his 65th league-leading goal of the season to start off the third period at 18:38 to put Toronto ahead 2-1. During a power play, he sent a one-timer past Alex Nedeljkovic at the high slot off a face-off win by John Tavares. With this goal Matthews had scored, he ties Alex Ovechkin for the most in a season by an active player. At 6:23, Drew O’Connor tied it back up 2-2 after a point shot by Pierre-Olivier Joseph had been saved by Ilya Samsonov. O’Connor stuffed in a loose puck that got behind Samsonov. As the 60 minutes weren’t enough to finish it up, they headed into overtime.

   Just 1:30 into overtime, Jake McCabe went for the 3-2 final when he drove to the net to put a shot between Alex Nedeljkovic’s pads at the top of the crease off a seam pass from Auston Matthews.

Auston Matthews on Jake McCabe, Sidney Crosby, and his 65th goal of the season: “He’s such a competitor and he battles every single night for us, especially in the d-zone. He’s matching up against top lines and plays a really important role for us,” – “It’s nice words coming from Sid and just who he is, what he’s accomplished. I have the utmost respect for him, so hearing that it’s very humbling… For myself, nothing really changes. It’s just one game at a time and trying to go out there, compete, and help the team win – It’s incredible. Honestly, it’s night in and night out, the consistency. It’s hard to put into words what he’s been able to do and just how he continues to elevate his game, and willing his team into a position to hopefully make the playoffs. It’s fun to watch and just a testament to his competitiveness, and how he handles himself as a pro every day. It’s really impressive.”

Sidney Crosby on his thoughts about the game overall: “It was a pretty tight game from both sides. I thought we competed and found a way to get a point. So hopefully we build off that… It’s a close game, it could have gone either way. Obviously, we would have liked to get the extra one, but we can’t go back now. I think we did some good things in the game and we just got to move by it,” – “We’ll look at this as, hopefully, an important point here down the road.”

Notes:

– Ilya Samsonov made a total of 30 saves for Toronto, and Alex Nedeljkovic made a total of 20 saves for Pittsburgh.

  This had been Nedeljkovic’s ninth straight start for the Penguins. Tristan Jarry last started in the net on the 22nd of March when the Penguins lost 4-2 against the Dallas Stars.

  Samsonov is the second-fastest goaltender to win 50 games in team history, doing so in his 80th game. Jack Campbell holds this record with 50 wins in his first 75 games.

– The Maple Leafs are three points behind the Florida Panthers for second in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand… The Penguins are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the second wild card into playoffs from the Eastern Conference, Detroit played one fewer game.

– Kris Letang’s six-game point streak had been put to an end (one goal, seven assists)

– Auston Matthews extended his point streak to currently 11 games (10 goals, 10 assists)… He ties Clayton Keller for the longest active streak in the NHL.

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Genevive Oliver

I'm a 17-year-old writer and a beginner photographer! I'm a huge hockey, baseball, boxing, and basketball fan.

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