There was no shortage of entertainment – really, that’s code for controversy – between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
The Penguins, after falling behind the Leafs by three goals in the second period, came back in a 6-5 shootout victory over the visitors from Toronto. Evgeni Malkin, who entered the night with only four goals so far this season, scored twice in regulation, had a goal waved off and assist, and then added the second Pittsburgh tally in the shootout.
That was also the deciding goal, after Sidney Crosby scored first in the breakaway competition.
The Leafs jumped out to a two-goal lead at the end of the second period. But they literally failed at any kind of offensive attack in the final 25 minutes of play.
Tyler Bozak scored to make it a 5-3 game with five seconds remaining in the second period. The Leafs didn’t register a single shot on Pittsburgh goalie Jeff Zatkoff – Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after Toronto’s third goal – in the third period or overtime.
The win was not without its divisive issues.
Malkin’s second goal of the night, which tied the game at 5-5 just before the midway point of the third period, is up for debate about whether it should’ve been allowed.
It appeared Leafs’ goalie Jonathan Bernier may have had the puck covered, or in his pads, when Malkin first knocked it loose, and then eventually in to the net.
Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle, who didn’t get an explanation for the controversial Malkin tying goal, had some critical words for referees Ghislain Hebert and Kevin Pollock.
“By that time they didn’t want to talk to anybody,” Carlyle said afterward, as per Mark Masters of TSN.
“They get to a position where they think they don’t have to talk to people I guess…”
And then there was this lengthy battle between Crosby and Dion Phaneuf.
It started in behind the net, than cooled off for a few seconds, and concluded with the two meeting up again and getting called for coincidental minor penalties.