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Maple Leafs 'kind of just quit' in loss, Matthews says

Leave goalie Andersen 'out to dry' with Flyers scoring five third-period goals

by Adam Kimelman / Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Auston Matthews said the Toronto Maple Leafs "kind of just quit"' in a 6-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.

The Maple Leafs allowed five goals after tying the game 1-1 at 8:38 of the third, including three in the final 2:06, two in the final minute against Frederik Andersen.

"I think just we just folded, kind of just quit," Matthews said. "We just didn't play to that last buzzer. We can't be doing that, not to a guy like Freddie, not to our starting goalie. Just have to have a little bit more pride than that."

Toronto lost 6-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 16 with rookie goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo, and Mike Babcock was fired four days later. Maple Leafs captain John Tavares said after that game, "It's unacceptable the way we played tonight. The way we went out there and played obviously isn't close to what our standard is, our expectation, and what we need to do to get the results we want."

Video: Giroux, Flyers top Maple Leafs, 6-1

Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe on Tuesday coached his sixth game since replacing Babcock.

"Normally I would not go in (the locker room) after a loss or a game like this, but I felt that it was important to address that situation," Keefe said. "We want to be a team of high character and that cares for one another. I thought we just left our goaltender completely out to dry there and stopped playing. That's not a good sign for our group. Hopefully it's sort of the shake-up that we need."

Claude Giroux scored at 10:00 of the third to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead, and Travis Konecny made it 3-1 when he finished a 2-on-1 at 16:32. After Joel Farabee scored into an empty net at 17:54, Shayne Gostisbehere (with 39 seconds remaining) and James van Riemsdyk (27 seconds) scored on Andersen.

"We tie it up, give up a goal, feel like we're still kind of in it," Matthews said. "You've got a chance to pull the goalie, still got a couple minutes left. But we let in that empty-net goal and we can't just fold like that. It's unacceptable to do that to our starting goalie, the guy that's stolen games for us. He has been a brick wall for us all year and that's just unacceptable on our part. We can't just fold. We've got to play to that last minute because that's just unacceptable. We just left him out to dry. Breakaway, 2-on-1s, odd-man rushes there in the last minute, and suddenly the score is 6-1. That's on us. It just can't happen."

The Maple Leafs next play the Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, TVAS, ALT, NHL.TV).

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