On top line, Dupuis pushes Penguins past Maple Leafs

Mike Brophy  - NHL.com Correspondent | Friday, 11.14.2014 / 11:31 PM

TORONTO -- The good news for Pascal Dupuis is he was reunited with his old linemates.

The even better news is he responded with two goals when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in the 17th annual Hockey Hall of Fame Game at Air Canada Centre on Friday.

Dupuis has played the better part of the past five seasons on a line with center Sidney Crosby and left wing Chris Kunitz, but the Penguins opted to use newcomer Patric Hornqvist with them to start this season.

Following Pittsburgh's 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday, which snapped a seven-game winning streak, Penguins coach Mike Johnston decided to shuffle his lines. Hornqvist was moved to a line with Evgeni Malkin and Nick Spaling, and Dupuis was back with Crosby and Kunitz.

"Obviously I know where they are going to be and they know where I am going to be," said Dupuis, whose goals were his fifth and sixth of the season. "I know what to expect. Chemistry on and off the ice helps. It worked out tonight, so I am pretty happy to be back with these two guys. We've got to keep going. In hockey you have to find chemistry; you have to finds duos and trios that work together."

Johnston felt comfortable returning Dupuis to the top line and was pleased with the results. Crosby, who had an assist, has gone seven games without scoring a goal.

"At least you know that group has chemistry from the past, and [Pascal] hadn't been with that group for quite a while because he wasn't there in training camp and he was out for most of last year, so putting them back together was good," Johnston said.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Maple Leafs. After going 3-for-4 on the power play in a 6-1 win against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, Toronto was 0-for-6 against Pittsburgh.

"We were handling the puck way, way too long," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "We were handling the pass and then we were trying to make the stick-handle play where we weren't as sharp with the puck as we needed to be. They did a good job of forcing things to the outside and blocking shots, but we didn't do a very good job of handling the puck. We overhandled it and maybe played too slow."

The Penguins with 2:42 left in the second period when Dupuis tipped home a Christian Ehrhoff slap shot from the right point that was traveling wide of the net.

Dupuis made it 2-0, 15 seconds into the third period when he took a no-look feed from Crosby in the slot and put a one-timer past goalie Jonathan Bernier.

"I have learned to expect those unexpected passes from him, and Sid seems comfortable playing with us," Dupuis said. "He thinks the game differently than everybody else and at the same time you have to be ready for everything. It makes for an interesting game sometimes."

A bad clearing attempt by the Penguins ended up on the stick of Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson, whose snap shot from 40 feet beat goalie Thomas Greiss at 6:32 to pull the Maple Leafs to within one.

Greiss, playing for the second time since Oct. 23, made 30 saves, and Pittsburgh killed a Toronto power play in the final 2:14. Malkin was given four minutes for roughing Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf after Phaneuf hit Hornqvist into the boards.

Johnston said he expects Greiss to see more action through the rest of November because the Penguins have a number of back-to-back games.

The Maple Leafs have been better at getting good starts in their recent games, but against the Penguins they failed to register a shot on goal until 6:05.

"We weren't skating in the early going," Carlyle said. "In the first 10-12 minutes we were in awe of the Penguins and were watching what they were doing. It showed on the shot clock. We were dramatically being outshot because we were standing around watching."

Scoring Summary
1st Period
2nd Period
17:18PIT Pascal Dupuis (5) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (5), Brandon Sutter (5) 1 - 0 PIT
3rd Period
00:15PIT Pascal Dupuis (6) ASST: Sidney Crosby (18), Robert Bortuzzo (2) 2 - 0 PIT
06:31TOR Cody Franson (3) ASST: NONE 2 - 1 PIT
Three Stars of the Game
Pascal Dupuis
Pascal Dupuis
G: 2Shots: 8
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 16:36
Penalty Summary
1st Period
13:10PIT Steve Downie  Hooking against  Nazem Kadri
17:26TOR Dion Phaneuf  Slashing against  Brandon Sutter
2nd Period
01:36PIT Evgeni Malkin  Hooking against  Phil Kessel
04:30PIT Chris Kunitz  Holding against  James van Riemsdyk
07:30TOR Mike Santorelli  Hooking against  Sidney Crosby
15:07PIT Robert Bortuzzo  Roughing against  Nazem Kadri
3rd Period
08:05TOR Nazem Kadri  Tripping against  Kris Letang
11:38PIT Pascal Dupuis  Slashing against  Tyler Bozak
17:46TOR Dion Phaneuf  Roughing against  Evgeni Malkin
17:46PIT Evgeni Malkin  Roughing against  Dion Phaneuf
17:46PIT Evgeni Malkin  Roughing against  Dion Phaneuf
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/30/6
Faceoff Wins3531
Blocked Shots1618
Penalty Minutes148
4R. ScuderiD0012017:20
7P. MartinD00-11024:46
9P. DupuisR2028216:36
10C. EhrhoffD0122021:27
13N. SpalingC0001014:27
14C. KunitzL0002218:41
16B. SutterC0100014:53
19B. BennettR0001010:16
23S. DownieR0001212:54
27C. AdamsR0001011:36
38Z. SillC000003:45
41R. BortuzzoD0121212:42
47S. DespresD0003013:19
57M. GocC0002016:31
58K. LetangD00-16027:14
71E. MalkinC0002615:35
72P. HornqvistR0002017:10
87S. CrosbyC0105018:48
1T. Greiss3031.96860:00
3D. PhaneufD00-11422:18
4C. FransonD1002020:25
12S. RobidasD0000014:25
18R. PanikL000004:47
21J. van RiemsdykL0005022:09
23T. SmithC000006:59
24P. HollandC00-21017:10
25M. SantorelliC0000211:15
26D. WinnikL0000016:43
32J. LeivoL000004:53
42T. BozakC0013019:49
43N. KadriC00-13220:45
44M. RiellyD00-11018:04
46R. PolakD0000021:52
47L. KomarovC0002014:45
51J. GardinerD0001023:11
71D. ClarksonR00-15015:27
81P. KesselR0007021:43
45J. Bernier3840.95057:20