Staal steals the show

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Mats Sundin continued to climb up the career scoring list in the National Hockey League and Sidney Crosby treated a record crowd at the Air Canada Centre with some scintillating moves.

But it was another young Penguin who ended a barnburner last night.

Jordan Staal completed his first NHL hat trick at 3:54 of overtime, beating Andrew Raycroft with a wrist shot to give the Penguins a 6-5 win against the Maple Leafs before 19,620 at the ACC.

"A painful loss, but we will survive," Leafs coach Paul Maurice said. "They are the best team in hockey right now and we played them pretty well. We have four of our top nine forwards out (John Pohl, Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood and Michael Peca) and we have to work real hard for what we get. It's hard to lose those games."

The Leafs not only lost the match but also plucky winger Kris Newbury. After the game-tying goal by the Penguins' Maxime Talbot with less than seven minutes to play in the third, Newbury was knocked unconscious by the right fist of Ronald Petrovicky in a fight.

KNOCKED OUT

Newbury lay motionless on the ice, and was carried off on a stretcher. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and tests revealed Newbury suffered no skull or C-spine fractures. He was conscious and alert, but it would not be surprising if he suffered a concussion.

Nik Antropov, Mats Sundin, Bates Battaglia, Bryan McCabe and Boyd Devereaux scored for the Leafs. Toronto is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 61 points, one ahead of the New York Islanders, and one behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sundin, who notched his 700th NHL assist, has 1,218 career points and is in 37th in career NHL scoring, one point behind Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau.

Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Malone also scored for the Penguins, who are 11-0-2 in their past 13 games. Crosby had one assist -- it was a backhand beauty that set up Malkin -- and leads the NHL with 87 points.

COMEBACK

The fate of the Leafs seemed to be clear midway through the second period after Pittsburgh built a 3-0 lead. But then 6-foot-7, 250-pound Hal Gill went after 6-foot-2, 188-pound Colby Armstrong of the Penguins, and the skirmish picked the Leafs up. Starting with a goal by Antropov at 13:25, the Leafs eventually tied the game when Battaglia scored with less than a minute to go in the period.

The final 20 minutes of regulation was wacky. McCabe put the Leafs up 4-3 before Malone and Devereaux traded goals, setting the scene for Talbot's equalizer at 13:49.

In overtime, the Penguins' Robert Scuderi was called for hooking. But 10 seconds later, Antropov negated the advantage when he was whistled for the same infraction. Staal got the winner as the teams played with three men aside.

The Leafs certainly played with more fire than they had in two previous games against Pittsburgh, which were Penguins victories. Toronto was credited with 25 hits to Pittsburgh's five.

"It was a crazy game," Sundin said. "We'll take the point, being down 3-0 and then battling back. In the third, it felt like it was our game.

"We got the lead twice, but they somehow found a way to get the goals right after we scored.

"We earned a point, but I still think we didn't play a very good hockey game."

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REPORT CARD

B Forwards: Once they got on Marc-Andre Fleury's bad side, the offence started to flow.

C C Goaltending: Andrew Raycroft's save percentage took a beating.


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