By Kevin Fortier (@ksfortier)
The Flyers returned home Tuesday night, riding a 3 game winning streak, to face the Toronto Maple Leafs. That short road trip was exactly what the Flyers needed having lost 10 games in a row with 6 of those losses coming at home.
The game started pretty slowly with neither team taking any real risks or seeing many scoring opportunities. There were only 13 shots on goal for the entire first period. 6 for Toronto and 7 for Philly.
At the 10:40 mark there was a stoppage in the Toronto end. Marleau was tossed from the face-off circle. Couturier won the ensuing face-off and pushed the puck to Claude Giroux who blasted the puck past Anderson for a 1-0 lead
Toronto coach Mike Babcock was furious with the officials. He had been barking at them for what he thought was unfair treatment even before the goal was scored.
27 seconds later Toronto scored to tie the game. They won control in their end and passed the puck up along the boards and created a rush that resulted in the puck squeaking by Elliott and into the net.
Giroux got turned around on he play and Sanheim seemed kind of frozen not really taking away the shot or the pass and then did not get all the way into position to block the shot.
Toronto seemed to be energized by the goal and immediately created another rush and scoring chance that Elliott saved. Then Polak took a tripping penalty that killed the momentum. The Flyers did not score on the ensuing power play only really getting 1 good opportunity on the man advantage.
End of period score tied 1-1.
The Flyers stormed out to begin the 2nd period. They dominated the first 7 minutes or so of the play. Philly had an 8-0 shot advantage through the first 5 minutes of the period.
The period settled in after that. The rest of the 2nd was pretty balanced. Each team had a couple good chances, but play was pretty even. Nazim Kadri hit the crossbar on a chance about half way through the period that grazed off of Elliott’s jersey.
Josh Leivo was robbed by Elliott with about 6 minutes left in the period when Leivo got open in front of the Flyers net-minder.
Toronto went on the power play with about 3:30 left in the period when Voracek tripped Kadri and Toronto scored on the man advantage. A little over 30 seconds into the man advantage, a shot from the blueline was tipped home by James Van Riemsdyk.
Neither team did much the rest of the period.
End of 2nd period score 2-1 Toronto.
The 3rd period was a little more open for both teams.
The Flyers scored a little more than 5:30 into the period. The fourth line was able get the forecheck going and cycled the puck in the Toronto end for nearly 30 seconds. Travis Konecny skated around the back of the net and out to the top of the zone and fired the puck through a maze of players and past Anderson to tie the game.
The Flyers continued to get chances in the third tallying 18 shots on goal which was their best period. Anderson made some big saves to keep the game tied.
Toronto had their chances as well with Elliott coming up big on a handful of occasions.
Each team had their chances to take the lead in the third, however, a brilliant pass by Giroux would lead to the Flyers taking the lead for good. With about three minutes left in the game, Giroux had the puck along the wall at center ice. With a Toronto player on his back, and facing the boards, Giroux passed the puck behind him and through his legs to Couturier who rifled the shot high over Anderson’s shoulder to take the lead 3-2.
Toronto pulled the goalie and Scott Laughton iced the game scoring in the empty net with a minute left in the period.
Final score Flyers win 4-2
Phi: 9:21 Giroux (Couturier)
Tor: 9:48 Marleau (Hyman, Hainsey)
Tor: 16:50 Van Riemsdyk Power Play (Reilly, Marner)
Phi: Konecny (Hagg, Provorov)
Phi: Couturier (Giroux Simmonds)
Phi: Laughton Empty Net (Raffl)
Shots on Goal:
Phi: 7-14-18 39
Tor: 6-7-9 22
Phi: 0 – 1