Toronto, Ontario - The game seemed to be following the right script for ultimate success for the Flyers, but then came the third period.
The idea of a rested team battling a weary team would seem to mean good things for the Flyers in their game against the Maple Leafs.
Toronto played last night, losing a 6-5 shootout decision in Ottawa, while the Flyers last played on Friday.
For the third consecutive game, the Flyers allowed the first goal of the contest as Toronto's Darcy Tucker scored an even-strength goal at 7:38 of the first period. The Flyers battled back as Mike Knuble scored a shorthanded goal as Eric Desjardins was serving a two-minute minor penalty for tripping. Left wing Simon Gagne centered a pass from the left faceoff circle to Knuble who was planted in the crease in front of Toronto goaltender Mikael Tellqvist. Knuble batted Gagne's pass into the open side of the net for his second goal of the season. Flyers defenseman Randy Jones posted an assist on Knuble's goal for his first career NHL point.
Flyers again found themselves down a goal early in a period as Toronto's Kyle Wellwood scored his first career NHL goal at 4:16 of the second period. Gagne then scored for the third consecutive game to tie the score at 2-2 with just over two minutes to play in the second period. The Flyers outshot the Maple Leafs, 25 to 14, through two periods of play and seemed to be the fresher team as the teams entered the second intermission.
An uneventful third period was interrupted at 6:45 as Flyers center Mike Richards was called for hooking as a Maple Leaf defenseman fell behind his net as Richards reached for the puck. Toronto took quick advantage of the call as Jeff O'Neill hammered a one-timer past Flyers goaltender Robert Esche at 7:34. Defenseman Bryan McCabe sent a cross-ice pass from the right point to O'Neill who was waiting to shoot at the left point.
The Flyers were again on the wrong end of a referee's call as Gagne was called for tripping at 11:09. As Gagne battled Toronto's Tie Domi behind the Flyers net, Domi fell to the ice and Gagne was whistled for the two-minute penalty. The Flyers seemed to successfully kill off the penalty as the puck came to Eric Lindros in the right faceoff circle. Lindros closed in on Esche and fired a shot short-side past the Flyers goaltender to give the Maple Leafs a two-goal lead, 4-2, as the Flyers penalty expired.
The Flyers failed to mount much of an attack over the final seven minutes of the game and suffered their second loss in three games.
Notes: The loss ended the Flyers' three-game winning streak against the Maple Leafs in Toronto…Forsberg's assist was his team-high fifth assist of the season…The Flyers outshot the Maple Leafs, 33 to 22, in the game…The game was delayed for approximately 20 minutes to start the second period due to problems with the arena's lighting…The Flyers were scoreless on four power play attempts…Tellqvist was named First Star…The win was the Leafs' first win of the season…Defenseman Kim Johnsson led the Flyers in time on ice for the third consecutive game (23:41)…Defenseman Wade Skolney, who was recalled from the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, on Monday, played his first career NHL game.