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Lupul's overtime goal leads Maple Leafs past Flyers

by Joe Yerdon

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs blew another third-period lead but were able to overcome that on the way to a victory against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Joffrey Lupul scored at 2:21 of overtime to give the Maple Leafs the 4-3 win at Air Canada Centre on Saturday. The Maple Leafs have blown a third-period lead in four of five games since returning from the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics (2-1-2).

"We don't want to make a habit of blowing third-period leads," Lupul said. "Things are going to happen, other teams are going to make plays, and we stuck with it. There was a good feeling on our bench going into overtime. It seemed like everyone had their composure and were calm and we got the result we needed."

Lupul's 19th goal of the season came on the only shot of overtime after Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf fed a pass across the crease of Flyers goalie Steve Mason.

The Flyers tied it 3-3 with 2:32 remaining in the third period on defenseman Braydon Coburn's fifth goal of the season.

The Maple Leafs have a five-game road trip that starts against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.

"It's big for sure," Lupul said. "It was something that was said a bit in the room before to get a win at home because it's going to be a difficult [road] trip. That's not to say we can't win these games and compete, but it's a lot easier heading out on a big trip like this after a win."

Toronto blew a two-goal lead in the third period against the New York Rangers on Wednesday before winning 3-2 in overtime at Madison Square Garden.

"We've got to understand there's a certain style of game we've got to play on the road," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "We have to skate. We're a skating hockey club, we showed it tonight early and then got away from it and then got it back."

Philadelphia (33-24-7) trailed 2-0 less than four minutes into the game before rallying. Coburn tied the game from just inside the blue line.

"I hadn’t really had a lot of success during the game shooting it low; [it] seemed like he was smothering a lot of the shots and shots were getting blocked, so I was just trying to get it on net, there was a good screen," Coburn said.

Mason Raymond gave the Maple Leafs a 3-2 leads at 13:34 with his 18th goal of the season. Troy Bodie had his second assist of the game on Raymond's goal and was greeted by Maple Leafs president, and father-in-law, Tim Leiweke in the locker room after the game.

"He doesn't come in here often, so when he does, you take it," Bodie said.

The Flyers made it 2-2 at 7:19 of the third period when Kimmo Timonen scored his second goal of the game. Philadelphia scrambled Toronto in its end and Jakub Voracek's shot rebounded to Timonen, who backhanded a shot past goalie Jonathan Bernier.

Timonen's goals broke a 30-game drought and doubled his season total to four.

"I’ve been feeling pretty well these last few games and today too," Timonen said. "It was close, but still missing a hat trick in my career. Maybe someday."

The Maple Leafs started quickly when Jake Gardiner scored 2:21 into the game. The defenseman had lots of time to gather the puck and fire a low wrist shot through traffic to beat Mason for his sixth goal of the season, first since Jan. 21, a span of 12 games.

"I was just trying to get it past the first guy, and the guys in front of the net pretty much did the rest," Gardiner said. "It was lucky enough to sneak in there. It's been a while for me."

Nazem Kadri gave the Maple Leafs a 2-0 lead 1:17 later when he scored his 17th goal of the season. Kardi streaked in through the slot and fired a wrist shot over Mason's glove.

"We like to think the first 20 minutes is the most important 20 minutes," Kadri said. "A few times we've come out the wrong end and been behind the 8-ball and had to battle back, especially on the road. It's nice to kind of go up a couple, that way you can just play your game."

The Flyers cut into the lead when Timonen scored with 1:58 remaining in the second period. The play started when the Flyers broke into the zone and, with players from each team crashing the net, Voracek found Timonen alone as he skated into the slot and snapped a wrist shot past Bernier to make it 2-1.

"We didn’t play a very good first period, but I thought after that we battled hard and came back," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "I thought the game was pretty good after that. We got a point, which is good, but for me, the first period’s got to be better. Can’t come out flat like that."

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