Maple Leafs race past Penguins 5-2
Malkin ended his drought — such as it is for a player who scored 23 goals while playing in Russia as the lockout dragged on — late in the first period when he stuffed a pass from Crosby in between Reimer's legs to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.
For the first time this season, it didn't hold up.
Bylsma spoke openly about the problems Toronto's quickness provides, saying his team gave the Maple Leafs a little too much room to operate last season.
Any attempts by the Penguins to tighten up, however, came up woefully short. Even with Bylsma experimenting with his lines — on a couple of occasions he paired Crosby and Malkin in even-strength situations — Pittsburgh looked a step behind.
"We didn't get to our game consistently enough, that's for sure," Crosby said. "We didn't have enough shifts in their end, we didn't execute and make passes thru the neutral zone as good as we could have. Definitely not our best game, that's for sure."
Toronto scored twice early in the second period to jump in front, including van Riemsdyk's first goal for Toronto after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Flyers. Crosby needed just 25 seconds to tie it, beating Reimer between the legs on a breakaway for his first goal in 280 days.
The speedy Maple Leafs just kept coming, with van Riemsdyk collecting his second goal of the night — and his 101st career point — happily accepting Malkin's miscue and beating Fleury with ease.
The Maple Leafs weren't done. Another breakdown deep in Pittsburgh's end led to Grabovski standing all alone on the doorstep. He slipped the puck past Fleury to give Toronto a 4-2 lead and send the largest crowd in the brief history of Consol Energy Center heading for the exits a little early.
"They have our number for some reason," Pittsburgh forward Chris Kunitz said.
NOTES: The Maple Leafs scratched defensemen Cody Franson and Mark Fraser and center David Steckel. Defensemen Ben Lovejoy, Robert Bortuzzo and center Dustin Jeffrey ... Toronto hosts the New York Islanders on Thursday night. The Penguins travel to Winnipeg on Friday ... Pittsburgh offered free food and half off merchandise to all fans as an apology following the 119-day lockout.
Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 33746Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15554Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 10129Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9883Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 9568Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8114Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 8089Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister