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Leafs Slip Up Against Fierce Flyers

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

October 22, 2005


TORONTO (CP) -- The Philadelphia Flyers couldn't get their power play going, and Peter Forsberg remained without a goal this season, but they were strong enough in every other department to slam the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 for their third straight win Saturday night.

The Flyers had eight of the game's 12 manpower advantages and got only one power-play goal. That lack of production kept the score close for 40 minutes and sent the teams to the third period deadlocked 2-2.

The tie was broken when a Simon Gagne shot bounced in off Mike Knuble at 3:46. The Flyers went up by two when Donald Brashear deflected in an Eric Desjardins shot at 6:07, and Branko Radivojevic scooped a backhander past Ed Belfour to close out the scoring at 15:33.

"That goal by Mike was a big boost and we were able to ride it,'' said captain Keith Primeau.

Forsberg got his 11th and 12th assists but has yet to score a goal.

"As long as my teammates are scoring and we're winning games, it's okay, but down the road I have to start scoring, too,'' said Forsberg. "We'll see what happens. I'm not going to try to force it.''

Desjardins and Mike Richards also scored for the Flyers, 4-2-0.

Tomas Kaberle and Eric Lindros scored for the Leafs, 4-2-2, in front of a capacity Air Canada Centre crowd of 19,391. Toronto had won four in a row.

Pat Quinn will be quick to find a dumpster into which to toss the recording of his 500th game coaching the Leafs, who wilted in the third period when they were outshot 16-5. It was 32-24 for the Flyers on the night.

Philadelphia won 60 per cent of the faceoffs, and scored three big goals off faceoffs in Toronto's end.

"We got beat on three faceoff goals,'' said Leafs defenceman Ken Klee. "That's the kind of thing that is mental preparation.

"We can't give up faceoff goals and expect to win games.''

It was 1-1 after 20 minutes when Kaberle and Desjardins exchanged power-play goals.

The Leafs took three more penalties in a row before the first period was over, giving the Flyers an extra skater for five of the last six minutes including a two-man advantage for 39 seconds, but they couldn't add to their total.

On a Leafs power play early in the second, a video review was conducted before an apparent Toronto goal was disallowed.

"I still think it's a goal,'' said Leafs forward Darcy Tucker. "(The referee) couldn't see it in the net from where he was standing.

"I asked the goal judge and he said it was in the net. I don't know, it was one of those situations where we were little bit unlucky.''

Added Quinn, insisting goalie Robert Esche slid into the net with the puck on his own: "I heard the announcement the whistle had gone. No whistle had gone. I asked about that and they said that wasn't the reason. Clearly it was an error.''

Toronto's Wade Belak then was assessed four minutes in penalties, and Philadelphia squandered another golden opportunity.

"That can be a real momentum changer,'' said Primeau.

In the end, it didn't matter.

Oddly enough, the Flyers seized a 2-1 lead with Brashear and Derian Hatcher in the penalty box.

The Leafs' Jeff O'Neill lost control of the puck at the Philadelphia blue-line, and Michael Handzus slid it to Richards racing down the left wing. His wrist shot from the circle to the right of Belfour caught the goalie by surprise and found the short-side top corner of the net a centimetre under the crossbar at 17:21.

It was the second NHL goal for the rookie from Kenora, Ont., who made his first appearance as a Flyer on a Hockey Night In Canada telecast.

"As a kid, I grew up watching,'' said Richards. "You'd always see Don Cherry and guys like that on TV and finally getting to play was pretty cool.''

It was the first Flyers goal two men short since Terry Carkner scored against Washington on Dec. 5, 1991.

Lindros tied it 2-2 at 1:27 of the third period. His soft wrist shot from the circle to the left of Esche hit the near goal post. Esche dove in his crease to smother the bouncing puck only to have it strike his left arm and carom into the net. It was a team-high seventh goal for Lindros.

Knuble and Brashear scored, and it was all Philadelphia the rest of the way.

"Once they got those two easy ones on us, we changed and started turning the puck over a lot,'' said Quinn.

Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock cringed at all the penalties. It's the same in most games around the league with calls on even the slightest of fouls.

"I like what's happened to the game, but I'm concerned,'' said Hitchcock. "I've been on record on this.

"I'm very concerned that the players don't take advantage of the good things that have been given to them, i.e. falling down easily, making simple plays tripping penalties, falling down when one guy's got one hand and he's trying to check you _ those things concern me.

"If they keep happening, they end up eroding the integrity of the game. I'm very concerned about that. I see it every time I turn on the TV. Guys are falling down all over the place. That's the one part that scares me.''

Notes: Bryan McCabe had two assists and improved his points total to a Leafs-best 13 (2-11) ... Toronto's next game is at home Monday against Boston (Rogers Sportsnet, 7:30 p.m. ET) ... Lindros wore No. 8 in his youth to honour friend and mentor the late John McCauley, who wore the number when he was an NHL referee. It was unavailable when Lindros started major junior in 1989 in Oshawa, Ont., so he doubled up and has worn 88 since ... C Nik Antropov (groin) sat out for the second game in a row, while RW Nathan Perrott got into his first game ... RW Mariusz Czerkawski, who has yet to score a goal, was a healthy scratch a third time ... Leafs games coached: Punch Imlach 760, Hap Day 546, Pat Quinn 500, Dick Irvin 427, Red Kelly 318.

Photo by Graig Gabel Photography

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