Pittsburgh Penguins: Keys to the Game Vs. Toronto

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 17: Auston Matthews
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 17: Auston Matthews /

The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a crucial 4-3 overtime win over the New York Islanders.

Next up, the Pittsburgh Penguins will face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. The Leafs are coming off their western Canadian road trip last week and are looking to keep their winning ways going.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins /

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Leafs are currently second in the Atlantic Division with a 18-10-1 record on the season. They also sit sixth in the entire league’s standings.

They will surely be a tough team to beat and we have to be on point with our game.

So here are three keys to the game if we want to defeat these pesky Leafs.

Shut Down Auston Matthews

Auston Matthews is the young superstar centre for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He may not be a Sidney Crosby type player but he is very effective and is currently leading the Leafs with 26 points. Don’t let that number fool you though, because he seems to play both ends of the ice very effectively.

The Penguins really need to concentrate on constraining this guy and limiting his time with the puck. This is a crucial aspect of facing Toronto and we must do this.

Phil Kessel Has to Fire it Up

Phil Kessel has been our best player all season. With 35 points, he leads our team in both goals and points.

The thing to keep in mind here is that Kessel is facing his former team. This should give him extra motivation to get fired up, which is exactly what we need. Let’s hope for a big game from him.

Defence is Key

Toronto is one of the league’s most offensive teams. This means that our defence has to be extra consistent tomorrow. We really need to improve our consistency and our defence needs to come through.