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game recap

Bozak's goal sparks Leafs to 4-0 win over Flyers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:16 AM

NHL.com

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Bozak's goal sparks Leafs to 4-0 win over Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers 0, Toronto Maple Leafs 4

Tyler Bozak's first NHL goal was one neither he nor the sellout crowd at the Air Canada Centre will forget.

Bozak made his initial goal one for the highlight reels -- and sparked the Maple Leafs to a 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, ending a four-game losing streak.

The game was scoreless until Bozak brought the Centre alive with a gorgeous move at 8:44 of the second period. He turned defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen inside-out before beating Michael Leighton high to the glove side.

"What a goal," linemate Phil Kessel said. "Highlight of the night. It's got to be. That was pretty special, especially to have that for your first goal. It was something else."

Vesa Toskala played his best game of the season, stopping all 38 shots he faced for his first shutout since October 2008 -- a span of 70 games.

"It's nice to win," Toskala said "I've been playing well for a long time. I just feel really good on the ice."

Bozak was all smiles after the game as he described his goal. Even though one of the trainers put aside the puck for the former University of Denver star, he figured the best memento will be the story he'll get to tell down the road.

"The guys were joking with me, saying I don't have to lie to my kids," Bozak said. "When I'm a grandparent, I don't have to lie about my first goal. It's nice to get a nice one."

The Leafs signed the 23-year-old as an undrafted college free agent last April and are hoping he develops into a top forward. He added an assist on Nikolai Kulemin's goal late in the second period and now has four points in three NHL games.

Bozak's good performance came at a good time for the Leafs. GM Brian Burke held a news conference earlier in the day to answer questions about his struggling team, giving coach Ron Wilson a vote of confidence in the process. However, he also expressed frustration about the team's play this season.

"We've lost our way," Burke said. "We've got to get back on track."

Luke Schenn and Lee Stempniak also scored for the Maple Leafs, still near the bottom of the League at 16-23-9 despite the impressive victory over the Flyers. Philadelphia lost for just the third time in 11 games and fell to 23-20-3.

Philadelphia hammered the Leafs a week ago at WachoviaCenter, but saw a different squad this time.

"They're a tough team to play against," Leighton said. "They're either good or they're bad and I think they were good tonight."

Wilson has been extremely pleased after watching Bozak for two games. The rookie has centered the top line between Kessel and Kulemin.

"You see how smart he is and he's quick," Wilson said. "His skill set matches up pretty well with Phil. And Kulemin is doing an unbelievable job hunting down pucks and banging, blocking shots, and doing a lot of the little detail work that doesn't get recognized."

The Leafs headed out for a five-game road trip that begins in Washington on Friday night. Bozak hopes he's bought himself more time to show what he can do.

"I'm just trying to work as hard as I can and play to the best of my ability," he said. "Hopefully, they like it and I can stay here as long as I can. My goal's to be here for the rest of the year."

Material from wire services was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
08:44
TOR
Tyler Bozak (1) ASST: Phil Kessel (11), Ian White (15)
1 - 0 TOR
19:19
TOR
Nikolay Kulemin (9) ASST: Phil Kessel (12), Tyler Bozak (3)
2 - 0 TOR
3rd Period
05:54
TOR
Luke Schenn (2) ASST: Matt Stajan (22), Jay Rosehill (1)
3 - 0 TOR
18:12
TOR
Lee Stempniak (13) ASST: Jason Blake (16), Francois Beauchemin (16)
4 - 0 TOR
penalty summary
1st Period
05:34
PHI
Blair Betts  Tripping against  Jamal Mayers
10:16
TOR
Alexei Ponikarovsky  Delaying Game - Puck over glass
12:03
PHI
James van Riemsdyk  Interference against  Francois Beauchemin
15:47
TOR
Lee Stempniak  Roughing against  Daniel Briere
18:21
TOR
Tyler Bozak  Hooking against  Daniel Carcillo
2nd Period
02:22
PHI
Daniel Carcillo  Hooking against  Francois Beauchemin
03:02
PHI
Kimmo Timonen  Hooking against  Phil Kessel
3rd Period
18:22
TOR
Jay Rosehill  Roughing against  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
18:22
TOR
Jay Rosehill  Roughing against  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
18:22
PHI
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen  Roughing against  Jay Rosehill
goalie stats
Michael Leighton
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
Saves: 31EV: 24 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .886SH: 0 - 0
Vesa Toskala
SA: 38TOI: 59:51
Saves: 38EV: 27 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1