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PITTSBURGH – Matt Murray stood tall for the Pittsburgh Penguins during a key second-period sequence in which the short-handed Toronto Maple Leafs tried to make a push.
Murray turned aside the threat and the Penguins took over from there, putting away a tired Maple Leafs team in the final 20 minutes.
Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust scored in the third period to help Pittsburgh pull away for a 4-1 victory over Toronto on Saturday night.
"I think sometimes you give up opportunities and we kind of dodged one with some of the chances they got," Crosby said. "Those were some big saves and we were able to get those go-ahead goals after that."
Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz also scored and Murray stopped a career-high 35 shots as Pittsburgh won for the seventh time in nine games.
Zach Hyman scored for the Maple Leafs and Frederik Andersen had 45 saves in his second start in two nights. Toronto has won just once in its last eight on the road.
"I thought our fatigue showed a bit in the third period," Leafs' coach Mike Babcock said. "Our goalie was good and we gave up two, what I think, are bad goals that are D-zone coverage."
Murray kept the game tied at 1 late in the second period, denying Connor Brown and Matt Martin on a pair of point-blank, short-handed opportunities, in addition to a stop on another odd-man rush.
"My job is to make the save at the right time, to bail them out when they need it, and they came out hot in the third," said Murray, who has won his last 11 regular-season starts. "We were pretty much unstoppable in the third."
Kunitz put the Penguins ahead with 18 seconds left in the period when he flipped the puck over a sprawled Andersen.
"To get that goal late in the second definitely gave us a big boost," Crosby said.
Rust made it 3-1 at 6:58 of the third period when he took a feed from Crosby at the faceoff dot and put a shot on Andersen. He got his own rebound and darted to the net, sweeping a shot past Andersen's outstretched pad.
Crosby extended the lead a little more than three minutes later, tapping in a twice-redirected shot from the top of the crease for his 10th of the season. Crosby, who missed the Penguins' first six games with a concussion, has 10 goals and 13 points in his last nine.
The Penguins, who rebounded from their first regulation loss on home ice Thursday against Minnesota, extended their unbeaten stretch against Toronto to nine games, including seven in Pittsburgh.
"Everyone has been there with back-to-back games," Crosby said. "Going into the third, it's not easy, but I thought we did a good job of keeping our foot on the gas and applying pressure."
Hyman got Toronto on the scoreboard first less than two minutes into the game with a between-the-legs deflection over Murray's shoulder from the right post. It was Hyman's second goal of the season and second in two nights.
Malkin scored his eighth on the power play to tie it at 3:06 of the second. Kris Letang's initial shot from between the circles ricocheted off the end boards behind the net and Malkin was near the post to tap it in.
Malkin has points in nine of his last 11 games, including four straight overall and six consecutive at home. Patric Hornqvist, who had an assist on the goal, has points in 11 of 15 games this season.
This was the first meeting between Crosby and Maple Leafs rookie forward Auston Matthews. Crosby faced Matthews, the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, four days after his first game against Edmonton star Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Matthews, who had six goals and four assists in his first six games, hasn't scored since Oct. 25, and has just three assists in his last nine games. He was shut out again on Saturday with one shot in nearly 17 minutes of ice time
NOTES: Leafs D Matt Hunwick played for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury Oct. 25. ... Penguins' F Tom Kuhnhackl was in the lineup for the first time in six games. ... The Penguins wore their Pittsburgh Gold white road jerseys on home ice for the first time since Game 2 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Final against Chicago.
Toronto: Hosts Nashville on Tuesday night in the opener of a stretch of three of four at home.
Pittsburgh: At Washington on Wednesday night to start a stretch of five of six on the road.