TORONTO – A strong second period was the difference in the game as the Toronto Maple Leafs scored three goals in a span of 4:10 in a 5-2 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night.
It was the fourth straight win for Toronto (8-5-0), but it may prove to be a painful one. Goaltender James Reimer had to be helped off the ice early in the second period with a lower-body injury.
Reimer sustained the injury during a scramble in his crease. After the puck was cleared from the zone, he stayed down on his knees till the trainer arrived.
"He is probably going to miss some time, but it won't be a long drawn out process as far as our assessment," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said after the game. "There will be more tests tomorrow and we will have an update."
Colton Orr got things started early in the second, beating Nicklas Grossmann to chip in a Frazer McLaren rebound at 2:05 to give the Maple Leafs a 2-1 lead
The Flyers (5-7-1) were victimized once again just 28 seconds later, when Matt Frattin was able to get behind Braydon Coburn and deflect a Cody Franson shot past a surprised Ilya Bryzgalov.
With the visitors reeling, Clarke MacArthur chased Bryzgalov from the Flyers' net when he one-timed a pass from Nazem Kadri to give the Maple Leafs a 4-1 lead at 6:15. It was the second goal of the season for MacArthur and the second point of the night for Kadri.
"There was a lot of good things that happened outside of those six minutes," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seemed like we shot ourselves in the foot [after the Orr goal to make it 2-1] and it unraveled a bit for the next four or five minutes and we couldn't get it back on track. They score another one and then a fourth one. That is six minutes you would like to have back and do it over."
Bryzgalov stopped only three of six shots in the second period and finished the game with 10 saves on 14 shots. He was replaced by Brian Boucher, who was recalled from the American Hockey League on Sunday.
"You can go through it goal by goal, but there is no need to do that," said Boucher, who allowed a goal on 10 shots in relief. "They were opportunistic on their chances and some nights it goes that wayIt is not indicative of how Bryzgalov was."
Boucher was projected to start Wednesday against the Winnipeg Jets, but whether that still is the case is now uncertain.
The Flyers play their next five games on the road and currently sport a 1-6-0 record away from Wells Fargo Center.
Ben Scrivens replaced Reimer and stopped all but one of the 33 shots he faced. His best save came in the second period, when he robbed Brayden Schenn.
"It is always tougher coming in cold," Scrivens said. "That is the nature of the position, as a backup, that is what you gotta be ready for."
Scrivens stopped 20 shots in the second period; Reimer stopped 12 of 13 shots before suffering the injury.
Defenseman Korbinian Holzer was ejected from the game in the second period. He was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for boarding Tye McGinn at 13:31. Toronto was able to kill off the penalty and received a rousing ovation from the home crowd.
The Flyers got out to the start they wanted when Toronto-area native Wayne Simmonds opened the scoring 38 seconds in to the game. Simmonds was able to poke a loose puck behind Reimer after Kimmo Timonen took the initial shot.
The Maple Leafs would tie the game at 14:49 when Dion Phaneuf scored his second goal of the season from the point. Leo Komarov set up the scoring play, skating into the Flyers' zone and then sending a quick pass back to the Maple Leafs' captain Phaneuf now has goals in back-to-back games.
Reimer made the save of the period at 16:15 when he stoned a charging Matt Read. From behind the net, Claude Giroux centered the puck to Read, who was able to take several strides toward the Maple Leafs' goal before unleashing a shot. Reimer went across his body and got his left pad on the puck to keep the score tied at 1.
It was the first meeting between the Flyers and Maple Leafs since they consummated a trade in June that sent Luke Schenn to the Flyers for James van Riemsdyk. Schenn had an assist, while van Riemsdyk scored his team-leading eighth goal early in the third period to make it 5-1.
The goal by van Riemsdyk was by far the prettiest of the game, as he blew by Luke Schenn before slipping the puck past Boucher on the short side.
"I was trying to go five-hole, he knows most of my moves from playing over there with him," said van Riemsdyk, who is off to a flying start in Toronto. "Generally, I have been a little bit slower of a starter and usually come on as the season goes along, so it's good to get off to a decent start and hopefully I continue to build and get better game-in and game-out."
Meanwhile, a dejected Schenn took no solace in getting a point against his former teammates.
"It doesn't really matter," said Schenn. "The whole team wasn't great beyond the first period tonight. We've got no time to sit and think about it too much. We've got another big game tomorrow and it is time to move on."
Sean Couturier missed the game with flu-like symptoms. The Flyers gave no further update on his status.