Skip to main content

Maple Leafs keep rolling, beat Flames

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to get outshot.

They keep finding a way to win too.

Despite being nearly doubled up on shots, Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves and Toronto got goals from four different scorers to beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.

The win came less than 24 hours after James Reimer and the Leafs blanked the Edmonton Oilers 4-0 despite being outshot 43-26. This was the 11th straight game Toronto had fewer shots than its opponent.

"I think that you can't look past your goaltender," said Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, whose team was outshot 43-22. "He's given us a chance no matter who we've put in the net, he's been able to provide quality goaltending. That 1A, 1B theory, we're going to beat it to death."

With the Maple Leafs having played Tuesday, Bernier figured he'd be heavily relied upon against the Flames.

"I knew back-to-back, you've got to feel good," said Bernier, who improved to 6-4-0 this season. "They're a good team in that building. I've played here many times and they come out really hard. I just want to make those saves and keep my team in the game."

Joffrey Lupul, James van Riemsdyk, Mason Raymond and Paul Ranger scored for the Maple Leafs (10-4-0), who have won three straight. Matt Stajan and David Jones had goals for Calgary (5-5-2), which dropped its first game in regulation on home ice this season.

"I felt that we had a good game," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "We are not very pleased with the result, but I don't know what we could have done more. Offensively we generated a lot. Our forechecking was good. Our puck decisions in the offensive zone were very good, but Bernier basically stole the game away from us."

Though they were heavily outshot after 20 minutes, the Maple Leafs escaped the first period with a 2-0 lead.

Seconds after a slashing penalty to Dennis Wideman expired, Lupul picked Jake Gardiner's point shot off the boards. His initial attempt to stuff it past Flames goaltender Karri Ramo was blocked by Chris Butler, but Lupul fished out the rebound and made good on his second chance for his seventh of the season at 7:56.

The Flames held a 15-7 shot advantage after 20 minutes, but Bernier was equal to the task.

After former Toronto forward Joe Colborne failed to connect with TJ Brodie on a 2-on-1 the shift after Lupul's goal, Bernier shouldered away Curtis Glencross' shot from the high slot near the midway point of the first. Brodie followed that opportunity by deflecting a Glencross slap shot off the post three minutes later.

With the Flames on a power play, van Riemsdyk put the Maple Leafs up 2-0 with a shorthanded goals. burying a shot under Ramo's arm with four seconds remaining in the period.

"That's a huge goal for our team," captain Dion Phaneuf said. "JVR's been unbelievable for us all year. That's a great shot from where he scored that goal. Anytime you can get the momentum with a shorthanded goal is huge."

Bernier went back to work with Calgary continuing its power play in the second period, stopping Glencross on the doorstep after a feed from Russell less than a minute in. He then stopped Jiri Hudler with the glove and followed it up by stoning Brodie, who had jumped into the play to create an odd-man rush with three minutes gone.

He did the same to Sven Baertschi at 6:19, taking away the five-hole after the Flames forward danced around Phaneuf in front.

The Flames broke through Bernier on their 31st shot of the game. Shortly after Shane O'Brien and Carter Ashton dropped the gloves in response to Ashton's hit on Derek Smith, Glencross found Stajan with some space in the slot. The former Maple Leaf fired a shot past Bernier's glove with 2:57 remaining in the period to cut Toronto's lead to 2-1.

The goal ended Toronto's shutout streak at 150:11.

The Leafs gave Bernier some breathing room at 5:59 of the third period. Brodie coughed the puck up to David Clarkson, who broke in and fired a shot that was turned aside by Ramo. On the doorstep, Raymond collected the rebound and tucked it across the goal line to give Toronto a 3-1 lead.

"It was a bad play," Brodie said. "You know, down by one goal, you start sitting back in the neutral zone looking for turnovers, and I've got to make the play there."

Brodie's Flames didn't fold, though. Jones cut the lead back to one by deflecting Russell's point shot by Bernier with 5:21 remaining in the game. But with Clarkson in the box in the final minutes of the game and Ramo on the bench for an extra attacker, Ranger sealed it for Toronto with a shorthanded, empty-net goal with 1:22 remaining.

View More