PITTSBURGH - It was the second half of a back-to-back, and you could tell from how the Pittsburgh Penguins played in front of Casey DeSmith.
Just under 24 hours after beating the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-1, the Penguins had to rush home for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs are beaten and bruised with five players on injured reserve and also in the second half of a back-to-back, but they had their legs.
For the entire 60 minutes, the Penguins never found their game and on many occasions did nothing to help DeSmith in net.
DeSmith faced 41 shots and allowed four goals, but all of them were helped along by defensive lapses.
“Casey played awesome,” Jake Guentzel said despite the 4-1 loss. “We left him out to dry a couple of time, but he made some big saves for us and kept us in the game all night.”
The first goal for the Maple Leafs came just 40 seconds into the game when a terrible line change sprung Mitch Marner for an easy break.
“Miscommunication, all five changed,” Guentzel said. “That just can’t happen that early in the game.”
The Penguins had over 59 minutes to bounce back from the Marner goal, but just couldn’t; their offense never really woke up and the defense wasn’t steady all night.
The next three Leafs goals can all be chalked up to leaving guys alone in front of the net.
Pontus Holmberg, William Nylander, and Auston Matthews are all not going to miss those easy shots.
Try as DeSmith did to keep the Penguins in the game, the guys in front of him just didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.
“Wish I could have had that one and kept it a two-goal game,” DeSmith said about the Matthews goal. “Two-goal game you pull the goalie, you just never know. Obviously that’s tough.”
DeSmith did all that he could, but it just wasn’t enough; the Penguins gave up too many easy looks and couldn’t wake up offensively.
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