The Flyers beat the Maple Leafs 4-1 on Friday in Philadelphia, moving to within two points of Toronto for first place in the East. Keith Primeau scored in first game back since breaking his thumb on Jan. 2 for the Flyers, who snapped a season-high six-game winless streak (0-4-1-1).
"The big thing for us was Primeau comes in and calms the whole thing down," Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He calms it down in the dressing room, calms it down with his presence. He got us focused."
The Flyers jumped out to a 3-0 lead 11:15 into the first period, chasing Toronto goalie Ed Belfour.
"When you play Toronto, you don't expect an early lead," said Philadelphia goalie Robert Esche, who had 21 saves. "They're a dynamic team. It was just one of those nights for them."
Patrick Sharp, Tony Amonte and John LeClair also scored for Philadelphia, which has won four straight against Toronto, including a 7-1 rout on Nov. 1.
Joe Nieuwendyk scored on the power play for the Maple Leafs, who have lost three of four. Toronto has managed just two goals in its last three losses.
"I don't think we responded well in a couple of pressure situations," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "There were three games this year that we all considered big games and we thought we would be a team ready to play and we didn't respond."
STANDINGS: Flyers - 57 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Maple Leafs - 59 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Flyers - Mark Recchi, 16 goals; Jeremy Roenick, 22 assists and 37 points; Donald Brashear, 86 PIM. Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin and Gary Roberts, 16 goals; Sundin, 28 assists and 44 points; Tie Domi, 97 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 15): Flyers - Power play: 21.7 percent (38 for 175), 3rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (171 for 203), 16th. Maple Leafs - Power play: 19.1 percent (40 for 209), 7th. Penalty killing: 85.8 percent (187 for 218), 10th.
GOALTENDERS: Flyers - Jeff Hackett (10-10-6, 3 SO, 2.39 GAA); Esche (11-5-4, 1, 1.92). Maple Leafs - Belfour (19-13-5, 4, 2.29); Trevor Kidd (3-1-1, 1, 2.59).
SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Friday; Flyers, 4-1. At Philadelphia, the Flyers outshot the Maple Leafs 29-22, including 16-9 in the decisive first period.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flyers - 7-7-8-2 on the road; Maple Leafs - 12-4-2-2 at home.