Better With Popcorn

Flyers Leaf Toronto With 4-1 Win

The Flyers needed to come out and take control of the game early tonight and they did just that by winning 71 percent of the face offs in the first period.

The Flyers would capitalize on their first power play opportunity of the game when Colby Armstrong went off the ice for high sticking. Just six seconds into the power play the Flyers would score off the face off on a shot from Ville Leino to put the Flyers ahead 1-0.

He has been instructed to shoot more by the coaching staff and has two goals in his last two games. His goal was not a hard shot but accurate, quick and on net, it was a nicely designed play.

A minute and nine seconds later the Flyers would again create a scoring opportunity off the face off when Pronger would score on a blistering slap shot to make it 2-0. After shooting wide on his first attempt Pronger would get the puck back and fire the puck toward the net deflecting off a sliding leafs skate and over the Shoulder of Giguere.

Less than a minute later the Flyers would find themselves down a man for four minutes. Braydon Coburn was called for hooking and while the delayed penalty was being called the Flyers were trying to touch up for a stoppage when Coburn received a second minor this time for cross checking.

The Flyers would successfully kill that power play and the period would end with the Flyers having a two goal lead. The Flyers played a real good first period with some anxious moments around their own net. Boucher looked a little rusty but was able to shake it off and come up with a couple big saves early especially one at point blank range on Colby Armstrong. The Flyers would carry a two goal lead into the second period.

Just two minutes and forty two seconds into the second period the Flyers would be shorthanded when Sean O'Donnell received a two minute minor for interference. The Flyers would kill that penalty and one to JVR at the 9:46 mark of the second period.

Shortly after JVR's penalty expired Briere took a rebound off the back boards from a point shot and dunked it in to give the Flyers a three goal lead. The Flyers would receive a power play of their own when Mikhail Grabovski would go off two minutes for boarding Matt Carle. The Flyers would not be able to capitalize on that power play opportunity.

Just seventeen seconds after serving his minor for boarding Grabovski would capitalize on a JVR turnover. Dion Phaneuf would steal the puck from JVR and send it up to MacArther who went on a brief two on one with Grabovski, MacArther would slide it across to Grabovski for the redirection past Boucher to make it 3-1.

Just over three minutes later the Flyers would get that goal back when Andrej Meszaros and Danny Briere would break into the Leafs zone on a 2 on 1. Meszaros would pass the puck across to Briere who moved to his backhand and slid the puck between Giuere's pads to make it 4-1 Flyers.

This period was not the same as the first for the Flyers, they would turn the puck over in this period the most they have in any one period this season. They would take the three goal lead into the third period.

The Flyers would have two opportunities in the third on the power play but would not capitalize on either. The third period would see no goals from either team, despite the pressure put on by the leafs they only outshot the Flyers 10-9 in the third.

The Flyers would not surrender their three goal lead on this night. They earned a win but not as convincingly as the score dictates. Some of the chances the Leafs had and could not capitalize on a good team like the ones the Flyers will face coming up in their next three games; Bruins, Pens, Habs will.

The Flyers will need to play better with the lead against better teams or they may find themselves with more nights like the one they had Wednesday night against the Sharks. No game is ever perfect, but playing smart consistent hockey will give you a solid chance night in and night out.

Three Stars

1 Briere
2 Boucher
3 Meszaros