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Pens top Leafs, jump Caps for first place


EditorsNote: tweaked 3rd and last grafs; minor edits throughout

Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists and Bryan Rust added a goal and two assists Tuesday night as the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2.

Pittsburgh won its NHL-best 22nd home game and moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division, overtaking an idle Washington Capitals team that had led the division since Oct. 19.

Anthony Angello, Jason Zucker and Teddy Blueger also scored for Pittsburgh, which built a 5-0 lead in the second period and is 6-1-1 in its past eight games.

Goaltender Tristan Jarry won his fourth straight start, making 34 saves.

Auston Matthews and Kyle Clifford scored for Toronto, which suffered its second straight loss and third in four games. Fredrick Andersen made 19 saves for the Leafs.

The teams meet again Thursday in Toronto.

Pittsburgh played without leading scorer Evgeni Malkin, who was scratched because of illness.

Rust opened the scoring with his team-leading 23rd goal -- and first in seven games -- on the power play at 11:41 of the first. He roofed the puck from short range off a slick pass above the top of the crease from Crosby.

That gave Pittsburgh at least one power-play goal in five straight games.

Angello, who dressed after Malkin was scratched, got his first NHL goal in his fifth game to make the score 2-0 at 17:03 of the first. He deflected a Sam Lafferty shot under Andersen's pads.

Off a tic-tac-toe play with a man-advantage at 2:52 of the second, Zucker gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead.

Pittsburgh made it 3 for 3 on the power play when Crosby scored at 7:11 of the second for a 4-0 lead. He scored from near the left post off a feed from Patric Hornqvist.

Just after Toronto killed Pittsburgh's 1:19 five-on-three advantage and subsequent 41-second five-on-four, Andersen turned the puck over behind his net, leading to Blueger's goal at 12:35 of the second to make it 5-0.

Matthews scored his league-leading 43rd goal on a one-time blast at 16:35 of the second period, and Kyle Clifford completed the scoring at 18:01 of the period.

--Field Level Media

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