PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby’s 19th goal of the season broke a tie with just over 6 minutes remaining and the Pittsburgh Penguins edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Monday night.
Crosby took a centering pass from Pascal Dupuis and beat Toronto’s Jonathan Bernier to the stick side to boost his point total to a league-leading 47.
Chris Conner and Brandon Sutter also scored for the Penguins, who were playing without a number of regulars, including forward Evgeni Malkin.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots for Pittsburgh to improve to 27-3 in his past 30 home starts. Pittsburgh has won four straight and nine of 10.
Morgan Rielly scored the first goal of his career for the Maple Leafs. Bernier made 28 saves, but couldn’t stop Toronto from losing for the fourth time in its past five games.
The Penguins have a firm grip on the top of the Metropolitan Division despite an injured reserve list that seems to be growing by the day.
Kris Letang joined fellow defenseman Brooks Orpik (concussion), Paul Martin (broken leg) and Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) on the IR Monday with an upper-body injury of his own, forcing Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma to get creative with his pairings.
Rookie Philip Samuelsson, whose father Ulf won a pair of Stanley Cups with the Penguins in the early 1990s, made his NHL debut against the Maple Leafs. The younger Samuelsson was part of a defense that included four first-year players and one second-year player along with veteran Matt Niskanen.
The young legs, however, wasted little time getting comfortable.
Brian Dumoulin helped give the Penguins a quick 1-0 lead, collecting the puck near the point then firing it on net, allowing Conner to jab it by Bernier for his third goal of the season 39 seconds into the game.
Jets 3, Blue Jackets 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Evander Kane returned from an injury to score a goal and add an assist, leading the Winnipeg Jets to a victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Mark Scheifele and Bryan Little also had goals for the Jets, with Al Montoya making 22 saves.
R.J. Umberger and Fedor Tyutin had the goals for the Blue Jackets, who had a first-period goal disallowed.
The Blue Jackets had picked up points in five of their past six games (4-1-1). The Jets won four of six games on a road swing only to return home and go 0-2-1 before heading to Columbus.