TORONTO - The Pittsburgh Penguins may have edged the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in a shootout Saturday night, but the win could be a costly one.
Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk hit Evgeni Malkin hard into the boards late in the third period in the neutral zone, he played just one more shift and was held out of overtime and the shootout.
"He wasn't sitting out because of his play," said Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. "(It's) an upper body injury. Just kept him out the rest of the game. (He) certainly will be re-evaluated. In the game it was more precautionary than anything at that point in time."
Malkin just returned to the Pittsburgh line-up this past week after missing four games with a concussion.
Sidney Crosby and James Neal solved James Reimer in the shootout as the Penguins extended their win streak in Toronto to four games.
Crosby, who beat Reimer glove-side for the winner in the second round, was having trouble during his usual shootout routine where he removes the tape from his stick and re-tapes it before shooting.
"Oh yeah, that was a long one," joked Crosby of his shootout routine. "The tape wouldn't come off. I was getting a little worried. That was my only stick I had. I was afraid I was going to have to take the shootout with no tape on my stick. I was lucky enough to get it taped up and ready to go."
Added Bylsma: "He was going. He was definitely going."
With the win Pittsburgh improved to 11-4-0 on the road this season.
Neal, the Penguins first shooter, beat Reimer in the five-hole to get things started for Pittsburgh.
Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri were both stopped by Marc-Andre Fleury.
"I wasn't happy with giving up four goals tonight so we made sure we got those two points in the end," Fleury said.
Crosby also took his share of hits throughout the night battling with the likes of Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. But the hit that sent the Penguins captain flying came late in the third as Cody Franson was getting up off the ice from taking away a pass.
"I don't know if he was completely flat," said Crosby. "I don't know how my feet kind of got caught up there, (but) I got some airtime."
Crosby was able to skate away from the incident unlike Malkin.
Phil Kessel tied the game 4-4 with less than four minutes remaining in the third, completing Toronto's comeback and forcing overtime.
"We got back (to our game) for the last 40 minutes," Phaneuf said. "But the slow start put us behind the eight ball. We recovered, pushed it to O.T., and anything can happen in a shootout."
The loss came in Toronto's (15-10-1) first shootout of the season.
Toronto and Pittsburgh traded three goals in the second period.
Franson got the Leafs to 3-2 when his power-play goal beat Fleury top corner for his second of the season.
Pascal Dupuis restored Pittsburgh's two-goal lead less than three minutes later as he tucked his own rebound short-side on James Reimer for his ninth of the season.
Toronto once again pulled to within one a minute later as Clarke MacArthur's wrist shot beat Fleury glove-side. The goal gave MacArthur 11 points in his last 11 games.
Pittsburgh (17-8-0) led 3-1 after 20 minutes thanks to goals from Crosby and Beau Bennett less than a minute a part. Crosby, who came into Saturday with a league-leading 39 points, now has 11 goals during an eight-game scoring streak against the Leafs.
The Penguins opened the scoring 36 seconds in as Neal beat Reimer with a slap shot off a Matt Niskanen rebound.
Toronto tied it 1-1 on a power play when van Riemsdyk re-directed a Kessel shot past Fleury for his team-leading 14th goal of the season.