The Philadelphia Flyers’ troubles away from the Wells Fargo Center continued tonight, as they were pummeled by the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 at the Air Canada Centre. Matt Frattin had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs, while Cody Franson and Nazem Kadri each had two assists in front of their home crowd.
Colton Orr had the game-winning goal and James van Riemsdyk scored against his former team, as James Reimer earned the victory despite leaving the game early in the second period due to an injury. Ben Scrivens did amazing in relief, as he stoned 31 of the 32 shots the Flyers threw at him.
For Philly, Wayne Simmonds scored in the first minute of the game and Tye McGinn scored in the final minute of the game, while Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled in the second period after he accrued 10 saves on 14 shots. Brian Boucher played in his first NHL game of 2013 to stop nine out of 10 in the game’s final 33:45.
Philly’s inability to capitalize on two situations in the second period dictated the outcome of tonight’s game. After Reimer left early in the second period, the Flyers failed to convert on a five-minute power play later in the frame.
“We sort of shot ourselves in the foot and it sort of unravelled in the next four minutes and we couldn’t get it back on track,” Flyers’ head coach Peter Laviolette said. “There were a lot of good things that happened outside those six minutes. You can’t remove that. Those six minutes were tough. The start of the second period was important.”
Although the Flyers entered the second period tied at one, it seemed as though they had a slight advantage in terms of momentum and dictation of play.
“We didn’t start that well,” Maple Leafs’ coach Randy Carlyle said about the first period after the win. “When you get scored on the first shift of the hockey game, but I think we were fortunate to get out of the first period tied 1-1 and that’s what our message was to our players.”
Any positive feelings about the first 20 minutes for the Flyers, however, were quickly erased in the middle stanza.
The Maple Leafs jumped out to a lead due to a tally from none other than Orr. A Frazer McLaren shot from the point led to a rebound from Bryzgalov despite the fact he saw the attempt all the way and the shot wasn’t hard. After Orr beat Nicklas Grossmann to the rebound in the slot, the enforcer flicked a soft backhander over a sprawled Bryzgalov’s right leg pad 2:05 into the second period.
Just 28 seconds later, Frattin registered his seventh goal of 2013 to extend Toronto’s lead to two.
A shot from Franson at the point was altered by Kadri and looked to be going wide left of Bryzgalov. However, a second redirection by Frattin put the disc on net and past Bryz.
With all the momentum in the Maple Leafs’ favor, goalie Reimer left the contest due to a lower-body injury shortly after Frattin’s tally. At exactly the four-minute mark of the second period, Scrivens replaced Reimer in net.
This goalie change didn’t seem to slow Toronto down, as Clarke MacArthur slammed home his second of 2013 just 2:15 later.
As Frattin skated along the boards to Bryz’s left, the forward threw a pass to Kadri at the bottom of the circle on the same side of Philly’s goaltender. Kadri saw MacArthur wide open on the other side of the slot and tossed the puck to his teammate, as MacArthur one-timed a blast by Bryzgalov, who didn’t stand a chance on the sequence.
After MacArthur’s goal, Laviolette decided to make a goalie change of his own, as Boucher entered the tilt at the 6:15 mark of the middle stanza.
A little over seven minutes later, Korbinian Holzer boarded McGinn behind Scrivens’ net to earn himself a game misconduct, as well as a five-minute major for boarding.
With their second chance in the period to turn the momentum in their favor, the Orange and Black failed to score a single goal on the elongated man advantage. Not only did they fail to beat Scrivens once on the major, the Flyers struggled to even get the puck deep in the Leafs’ zone.
This essentially marked the end of the game, as a goal from van Riemsdyk early in the final period made it 5-1 Toronto.
The former Flyer, ironically, skated by Luke Schenn and swooped in on Boucher, as the forward moved from the goalie’s right to his left. JvR backhanded a shot to Boucher’s blocker side and beat the netminder for his first goal against his former team 1:11 into the third period.
McGinn’s goal in the final minute of the game finalized the score at 5-2, as the Flyers ended their four-game point streak.
The contest started out promising for the visiting Flyers, as Simmonds put home a rebound past Reimer just 38 seconds into the game. A shot from the older Schenn at the point resulted in a rebound in the crease, which is where Simmonds out worked Holzer for the loose puck to earn his third goal of 2013.
Philly held the one-goal lead for over 14 minutes until Dion Phaneuf launched a slap shot from the point past Bryzgalov with under a little over five minutes left in the opening frame. Nikolai Kulemin, who earned the secondary assist on the tally, started the play before he skated to the front of the net and screened Bryzgalov.
Philly will travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets tomorrow night at MTS Centre.
Notes: The Flyers’ five-game winning streak against the Maple Leafs was snapped tonight. Their last loss against Toronto came on March 3rd, when the Leafs beat Philly 3-2…The loss also snaps the Flyers’ four-game point streak. After they lost to the Washington Capitals 3-2 on February 1st, the Flyers went 3-0-1 in their four games before tonight…Philly dropped to 1-6-0 away from the Wells Fargo Center this season. They have lost four straight road games…JvR had a goal on four shots on net with a plus-1 rating in his first game against the Flyers. The older Schenn had an assist, two hits, and three blocked shots with a minus-1 rating in his first game against the Leafs…Tonight’s game marked the seventh time the Flyers scored the game’s first goal. They are 4-3-0 in those seven contests…Phaneuf’s goal in the first period ended Bryzgalov’s shutout streak against the Maple Leafs. Bryz went 83:41 without allowing a goal against Toronto, a span that stretched back to when he was a Phoenix Coyote in 2010-2011. He stopped 35 straight shots against the Leafs in regulation and overtime over those three contests along with all three shootout attempts he saw…Bryzgalov was 5-0-0 in six appearances against the Leafs in his career before he was pulled tonight…Boucher took part in his first game as a Flyers since the Flyers’ 5-1 loss in Game 3 of the 2011 ECSF against the Boston Bruins…For a second straight game, McGinn drew a five-minute boarding major out of the opposition. After he drew one out of Tim Wallace in the first period of Philly’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, McGinn drew the same infraction out of Holzer tonight…Sean Couturier was scratched tonight due to the flu. It sounds as though Couturier won’t play against the Jets tomorrow either…The Flyers dropped to 0-1-0 against the Maple Leafs in 2013 and 0-2-0 against the Northeast Division (BOS 0-0-0, TOR 0-1-0, OTT 0-0-0, MTL 0-0-0, BUF 0-1-0).