The Maple Leafs had cut the Flyers lead to 2-1 and were looking for the equalizer but they were never able to level the score.
The Flyers pressured the Leafs and off the scramble in front of the Leafs net, Claude Giroux pounced on the puck and beat James Reimer.The goal came just 3:17 after the Leafs closed the gap. It stood up as the winning goal. With the loss, the Leafs are now six points behind eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
There was no hotter Flyer entering the game than Giroux. The third-year forward has continued his breakout season as he leads the team in points and assists.
Thursday, he not only had the winning goal but he also set up the first Philadelphia goal. In his career he has 10 points in 10 games against the Leafs. He finished the night with two points, three shots, two hits and four blocked shots. He now has 27 points in the last 23 games.
Dion Phaneuf has played a lot of hockey in the last two games. After Mike Komisarek was ejected for boarding, Phaneuf and the other four defencemen all played over 20 minutes.
The Leafs captain played his third most minutes of the season (29:35). He was very effective in joining the rush and also getting back in his own zone. He picked up an assist when his point shot went off Mikhail Graovski's visor and in. Phaneuf also had four hits and was a plus one.
Six. The number of points that the Leafs are behind the New York Rangers and Buffalo for the final playoff spots in the East.
With the loss, the Leafs have now picked up just one point in their last three games. The defeat marked just their second regulation loss since February 12. An area where they will need to get better at is allowing the first goal and getting behind the eight ball. The opposition has now scored the opening goal in five straight games.
"It's a five-minute major for sure for hitting from behind.Yeah, that's tough ... you don't get into a rhythm. I don't think we had everybody on the ice yet, then you're going to trim things down and probably use six forwards up front to kill and you've got to kill off five minutes. That kind of takes some of the energy out but I thought we did a pretty good job."
Saturday, March 12 vs. Buffalo Sabres 7 PM ET (CBC, AM640)
Game Notes: The Maple Leafs' homestand continues against Buffalo on Saturday in what now ranks as the biggest game of the season.
The Sabres are coming off a big 4-3 overtime win over Boston on Thursday. The game in Toronto concludes a seven-game road trip that has seen Buffalo go 4-1-1.