Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds combined for four of the Flyers’ goals tonight, as they handled the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 7-1 win on the road. Sergei Bobrovsky ended a personal four-game losing streak with a 16-save performance for his first win since early February.
Since Jonas Gustavsson got hurt in warm-ups to tonight’s game, Jussi Rynnas made his first NHL start. Unfortunately for Rynnas, the Flyers offense lit him up. Following a pair of goals in each of the first two periods, the Orange and Black put home three tallies in the final 20 minutes for their second three-goal game win in their last three tilts.
With Ilya Bryzgalov and Kimmo Timonen recently added to the long list of Philly’s injuries, the Flyers came out and dominated the Leafs’ to complete the season sweep of their Northeast opponent.
A pair of goals from Schenn gave Philly the early 2-0 advantage.
The first came off a fortunate bounce in the slot. After Danny Briere centered a pass to him in between the circles, Schenn had his shot blocked by Colby Armstrong before it popped up in the air. When the puck landed, it bounced off a couple sticks before it rolled right back to Schenn, who let go of a rocket that blew by Rynnas’ right shoulder at the 5:34 mark.
Less than six minutes later, Schenn concluded a Flyers’ four-minute man advantage with his second tally of the night.
After Jay Rosehill was sent to the box for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct, both of which were questionable calls, Jaromir Jagr started a 2-on-1 for Briere and Schenn against Dion Phaneuf. The former Penguin stood just outside the Leafs’ blue line before he hit Briere with a pass, as #48 streaked into the zone. Briere waited until he was just outside Rynnas’ crease to pass it cross ice to Schenn. Since Rynnas dropped to his knees in anticipation of a Briere shot, Schenn had an easy tap-in for his 11th goal in 2011-2012.
Philly’s two-goal edge wasn’t intact for long before Mikhail Grabovski beat Bobrovsky on a breakaway for his 23rd tally of the season. Tim Connolly saw Grabovski streak past the Flyers’ defense and hit his teammate with a pass that stretched from Toronto’s blue line to Philly’s blue line. After Grabovski settled the puck down and moved in on Bob, he switched the biscuit from his forehand to his backhand before he clanked a shot off the bottom of the crossbar and over the goal line.
In the middle stanza, the Flyers extended their lead to three goals due to scores from Simmonds and Matt Read.
Just before the four-minute mark of the second period, Simmonds fought off Carl Gunnarsson for possession of the puck behind Rynnas’ net. After he gained control, Simmonds slowly skated along the goal line and waited for the nearest Leafs’ players to give him space. With the space Toronto gave, Simmonds moved to the bottom of the circle and launched a wrister by Rynnas’ right shoulder. Simmonds’ 24th was his second in as many games.
Later in the period, Read capitalized on a few lucky bounces that took place during the penalty kill to put home his second in as many games as well. With Matt Carle in the sin bin for tripping, Read carried the puck out of the Flyers’ zone and passed it to Max Talbot just inside the Leafs’ zone. Talbot’s attempt to pass the biscuit back to Read was deflected by Phaneuf’s stick and forced Rynnas to make a leg save. As the puck sat in the crease after Rynnas’ surprise save, Read slammed it home for his 23rd of the season for a three-goal Philly advantage with a little less than eight minutes left in the middle period.
In the third period, the Flyers continued to pour it on the Leafs and their hopeless goaltender.
Eric Wellwood notched his fifth of the season after he completed a give-and-go with Read. Jakub Voracek backhanded a lob pass in the Leafs’ zone cross ice to Wellwood, who controlled the puck after it bounced off the boards. A pass from Wellwood to Read resulted in a pass back to the Flyers’ frequent call-up after he moved into the slot and put home a shot to become the fourth different Flyer to beat Rynnas on the night.
After Wellwood’s goal, Voracek blew by the Maple Leafs’ defenders and slipped a shot five-hole on Rynnas for his 15th of the season. A two-line pass from Jagr allowed Voracek to beat John-Michael Liles to the outside before he beat Toronto’s goalie.
Following the pair of Philly’s tallies within the first eight minutes of the period, Phaneuf decided to take out his anger on Schenn. After he pushed Schenn in the corner while the Flyers’ forward was down after a check, Phaneuf continued to shove Schenn around in the slot. Despite Phaneuf’s instigation of the incident, both players were given roughing minors, but Toronto’s defenseman was awarded an additional slashing minor for a Philly power play.
On the power play, Simmonds beat Rynnas for a two-goal night and a Flyers’ six-goal lead. Jagr led an odd-man rush into the Maple Leafs’ before he moved the puck to Briere in the slot, who then passed the puck over to Simmonds for an easy scoring chance, as Rynnas was out of position.
After the final eight minutes of the game ticked away, and the Maple Leafs’ fans finished cheering “Lets’ Go Blue Jays,” the Flyers recorded a 7-1 road win.
The Orange and Black look for consecutive wins on Saturday when they host the Ottawa Senators.
Notes: Bobrovsky has failed to record a single shutout in the NHL yet. His 80 games played without a shutout is the most by any goalie who has failed to blank the opposition once over the last two seasons…Schenn’s first goal in the opening period ended a 92:25 span of play between these clubs without a goal. The last goal scored between the two teams was Tyler Bozak’s tally with 1:51 left in the second period of their February 9th meeting…With his pair of goals in tonight’s game, Schenn has three goals against Toronto this season. It’s the most Schenn has against any club this year…Schenn’s two-goal night was his second of the season and his career. Simmonds’ was his third of the season…Simmonds also recorded his second three-point game in his career, as he had the primary assist on Schenn’s first goal…The win was the fifth time all season the Flyers recorded seven goals in a game and the second time they won by a margin of six goals or more…Grabovski’s goal in the first period was his 200th point in the NHL…Rynnas made 23 saves on 30 shots in his first NHL start…The Flyers swept the season series against the Leafs and improved to 13-3-2 against the Northeast Division this season (BOS 1-1-2, OTT 2-1-0, BUF 3-0-0, TOR 4-0-0, MTL 3-1-0)…The Flyers improved to 45-24-8. They were 46-21-10 after 77 games last season.