Flyers Drub Toronto, 7-1
Toronto Maple Leafs starting goalie Jonas Gustavsson took a puck to the leg in Thursday’s warm-ups. Gustavsson laid sprawled out on the ice and was forced to leave the ice before the game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Once the puck dropped, the Flyers added insult to his injury.
Brayden Schenn opened the scoring just 5:34 into the game with a rifled shot past backup Jussi Rynnas. Schenn’s first shot was blocked, and moments later fired off a Wayne Simmonds assist.
He added another goal less than six minutes later on the power play. As the man advantage wound down, Daniel Briere found Schenn on a two-on-one. The rookie easily beat Rynnas for his 11th goal of the season.
Toronto cut the lead to 2-1 when Mikhael Grabovski broke away from the defense and beat Sergei Bobrovsky with a backhanded shot.
Although the goal showed that the Flyers may have been letting up, they dismissed those worries in the second stanza.
Simmonds held onto possession and walked in to Rynnas’ right side and fired a shot past the young netminder. Briere picked up his third assist of his four in the game on the play.
After the second period, Simmonds spoke with TSN.
“I just try to take advantage of the situations I’ve been put in,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of good vets on our team-- Kimmo (Timonen), (Maxime) Talbot, Claude Giroux.
“There’s a ton of guys…who have played in the league a long time.”
Flyers defenseman Matt Carle took a tripping penalty midway through the second period. With a 3-1 lead, Philadelphia faced a dangerous opportunity for Toronto.
Instead of having the deficit cut in half, the Flyers increased it.
Matt Read scored his 23rd goal of the season with 51 seconds remaining in Toronto’s man advantage.
In the third period, Read shared the wealth.
Eric Wellwood maneuvered around Toronto’s Luke Schenn and passed the puck to Read. Read then spun the puck back to a cutting Wellwood for the easy goal.
After Wellwood’s goal, the chant of ‘Let’s go, Blue Jays’ rained down on the hapless Leafs. Amidst the chants, Philadelphia added on another tally.
Jaromir Jagr hit Jakub Voracek on a diagonal pass across the neutral zone. Voracek then turned John Michael Liles around and sped past him, beating Rynnas five-hole.
For good measure, Simmonds scored to give the Flyers their seventh goal of the night with just over eight minutes left.
With Pittsburgh dropping a 5-3 decision to the New York Islanders, the Flyers moved within two points of fourth place. With two games against the Penguins in the season’s final week, Philadelphia has a healthy shot at home ice in the first round.
After the impressive effort the Flyers gave on the road Thursday and all season (24 wins versus 21 home victories), it might not be a necessity.
Ilya Bryzgalov (foot) did not travel to Toronto. Kimmo Timonen also was given the night off and didn’t travel with the team in what was considered a maintenance rest. Marc Andre Bourdon replaced Timonen in the lineup. Jason Bacashihua backed up Bobrovsky. Former Flyer great Eric Lindros participated in the Flyers morning skate. Bobrovsky saved all but one of the 16 Leafs shots. Jagr hit the 50-point mark and finished the game with 52. Grabovski’s goal was his 200th career point. Toronto hasn’t won in its last 11 home games dating back to Feb. 6. Each Flyers goal was scored by a player not on last year’s roster.
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