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Watch James Reimer shut out the Penguins

Feb 1, 2012, 11:43 PM EDT

James Reimer, Joey Crabb AP

How do you stop arguably the hottest team (the Pittsburgh Penguins) and hottest player (Evgeni Malkin) in the NHL? Apparently you just have to call upon a guy who hasn’t played in two weeks.

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer‘s been waiting in the wings since Jan. 17 as Jonas Gustavsson played some of the best hockey of his shaky NHL career, but he’s likely to receive more reps after Wednesday. The Leafs should-be starter stopped all 25 shots as the Maple Leafs halted the Penguins’ eight-game winning streak with a 1-0 decision.

Clarke MacArthur scored the only goal of a rather sleepy game, which closed out a back-to-back set that featured a wild Penguins come-from-behind victory on Tuesday. Toronto is now fairly comfortably placed in seventh place in the East with 58 points in 51 games.

This was a valuable win for Toronto because February represents an early challenge with six of its next eight games coming on the road.

Thin margin of error for Penguins

To some extent, it seemed like it was a matter of time for Pittsburgh, as much of its recent wins came in dramatic fashion lately. Five of the Penguins’ last six victories came via shootout or overtime triumphs, with quite a few coming thanks to late heroics from Malkin.

The Penguins’ next game should be an interesting measuring stick of where they really are right now, as they’ll visit the Bruins in Boston on Saturday.

  1. napoleonblownapart6887 - Feb 2, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    We need secondary scoring. The Kunitz-Malkin-Neal line has been one of the best in hockey but they can’t be on the ice all the time. Dupuis and Kennedy specifically should pick it up a little bit. This was our glaring weakness last night, but even during the 8 game winning streak we haven’t been getting much outside the topline.

    My hope is that getting Staal out there with Dupuis and Kennedy will help both of them get back into a rythm – Jeffrey’s played well but he’s just not the distributor that Staal is. It’ll be interesting to see if the Pens try to make a move for a forward at the deadline.

    • abrienza428 - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      My guess would be that they would. They’re stockpiled at defense right now. Despres emergence before his injury tells me Martin is the most expendable. I expect them to try to pull off a similar trade to the Neal-Goligoski deal, but that might not be until this summer.

  2. back2backbees - Feb 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    LOVE IT!!! Best line in hockey except when they don’t score…streaks over…too bad.

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      Not everyone can be on every single night. They’ve got the league leader in points and two guys who are tied for second in goals scored in the NHL. Hate the Pens if you like but it’s hard to argue that Neal-Malkin-Kunitz is one of if not the best lines going right now… It’s unfortunate that the streak is over but I don’t think anyone was under the delusion that we were going to win 35 straight games to end the season. Watch the tape, identify what you did wrong, and start a new streak on Saturday against the B’s

  3. jpelle82 - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    pens look like they did at the end of last year. if they dont get staal back or secondary scoring soon, they could easily be on a 6 game losing streak again. theres no way the malkin line can carry this team deep. pens are almost unbeatable in shootout with fleury, if you look at the numbers, theres no one better but in games against philly, ny, nj you cant just give up a free point in the standings by playing for ot.

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