(Philadelphia, PA, February 24) – The Toronto Maple Leafs jumped out to a 3-0 second period lead and did not look back as they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on Saturday night, 5-2.
Leading 1-0, the Maple Leafs controlled the pace for much of the second period in scoring the first three goals of the game.
First, goaltender Michael Leighton was unable to get a handle on a shot by Alex Steen. Jeff O'Neill got just enough of his stick on the rebound to make it 2-0 at 12:57 of the second.
Later, Chad Kilger snuck free at the blue line and went in alone on goal and scored his 10th goal of the season on a play that had to be reviewed, as the puck barely crossed the goal line past the outstretched pad of Leighton.
"In my opinion, the problem is we turned the puck over too much and now everything seems like an uphill battle," said John Stevens. "We allowed them to play a simple road game from that point on."
Sami Kapanen was finally able to put the Flyers on the board just over a minute remaining in the second period with an unassisted goal. He picked off a clearing attempt in the Toronto zone and ripped a slap shot that was deflected in front of goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
Philadelphia had a great chance to cut it to 3-2 shortly thereafter, but Raycroft stopped a redirection attempt by Simon Gagne in front of the crease on a pass from Geoff Sanderson in what may have been the key play for Toronto.
Raycroft finished with 22 saves to record the victory, while Leighton allowed five goals on 30 Maple Leafs.
"I had two wins in my two first games, and then things didn't go well last time against Toronto," said Leighton. "I was looking at the schedule and this was a game I wanted to play. This was just another tough one for me."
Mats Sundin's rebound goal at 8:41 of the third made it 4-1, and John Pohl made it a 5-1 late in the game before Simon Gagne tallied his 34th of the season with 42 seconds left.
Philadelphia was unable to get any closer, however, in losing its fourth in a row.
"There have been a few games where we have had good signs; by the way we've been playing. Tonight was one of those nights that we didn't manage the puck the right way," said Kapanen.
The Flyers and Maple Leafs have one game remaining in their season series on April 3rd at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto has won all three games this season between the clubs.
The Flyers are on the road for their next three games, beginning on Tuesday night at the New York Islanders (7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 610 WIP).FLYERS NOTES
There were only five power plays in the game, as Toronto was 0-for-2 and Philadelphia was 0-for-3. … Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik, who assisted on Gagne's goal, was traded to Atlanta following the game in exchange for young defenseman Braydon Coburn
. … Mike York and Robert Esche were scratched for the Flyers. … R.J. Umberger returned to the lineup after a one-game absence due to the flu.