PITTSBURGH, Pa. –– 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 still have a firm grip on the top of the Metropolitan Division despite an injured reserve list that seems to be growing by the day.
OILERS: Defenseman Corey Potter has been suspended for two games for boarding Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Bonino.
The incident occurred at 5:40 of the second period of Anaheim’s 3-2 victory. Potter was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for checking from behind.
BRUINS: Forward Shawn Thornton has decided to appeal his 15-game suspension for punching and injuring unsuspecting Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik.
As per the collective bargaining agreement, the appeal first goes to commissioner Gary Bettman. If Bettman upholds the suspension, Thornton and the NHLPA can then elect to appeal to a neutral arbitrator because it is for six or more games.
Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is the only player to use this appeals process under the new CBA, and no player has gone to the neutral arbitrator. Bettman upheld Kaleta’s 10-game suspension for an illegal hit on Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, issuing a 17-page decision.
Thornton got 15 games for slew-footing Orpik to the ice and landing gloved punches to his head during a game Dec. 7. The Pittsburgh defenseman was knocked unconscious and has not played since because of a concussion.
He apologized for his actions after the game.
CANADIENS: Tough guy George Parros has sustained a fighting-related concussion for the second time this season.
Parros was stunned by a pair of late punches in a fight with Eric Boulton in Montreal’s 1-0 overtime road win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. Parros was wobbly getting to his feet, but skated off the ice.
Parros missed time after a fight with Toronto’s Colton Orr in the opener.