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game recap

Wayne Simmonds helps Flyers defeat Maple Leafs

All-star scores goal, chips in on penalty kill in Philadelphia's third straight win

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Wayne Simmonds was selected for the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game for his goal-scoring, but the Philadelphia Flyers forward is just as proud of his penalty-killing.

Simmonds scored his 21st goal and was part of a Flyers penalty kill that limited the Toronto Maple Leafs to two shots on goal on three power plays in a 2-1 win at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.

He was on the ice for 1:26 when the Flyers killed off a double minor against defenseman Ivan Provorov for high sticking in the first period, allowing one shot on goal over the four minutes.

"I think anytime you get a chance to stop the other team from scoring goals, you've got to take great pride in it," Simmonds said. "It's my first year killing penalties in Philadelphia, and I don't want to get taken off. It's something that I pride myself in along with every single other guy on the team."


WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Flyers highlights


Roman Lyubimov scored the game-winning goal with 2:37 remaining in the third period to give the Flyers (25-19-6) their third straight victory. Michal Neuvirth made 27 saves.

William Nylander scored for the Maple Leafs (25-15-9), who lost for the first time in three games. Curtis McElhinney made 32 saves.

The loss ended Toronto's road point streak at 11 (9-0-2), the longest in its history. The Maple Leafs, who were coming off a 4-0 win at the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, had not lost in regulation on the road since Nov. 30 against the Calgary Flames.

Video: TOR@PHI: Nylander battles to put home the loose puck

Simmonds scored to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 12:15 of the first, 63 seconds after Provorov's double minor ended. Nylander tied it 1-1 with his 10th goal at 15:35 of the second, scoring on a second effort after taking a pass from behind the net from Nazem Kadri.

Lyubimov scored the winner when his rebound came back to him in the left faceoff circle and he beat McElhinney.

"Just a great, hardworking goal," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "Those guys got in on the forecheck, they won a couple puck battles down there, did everything the right way. He had the rebound come back to him and found a way to bury it."

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock felt they didn't push back hard enough when the Flyers raised the tempo of the game.

"In the end it's disappointing because you're two minutes away from getting a point," he said. "But in saying that, the better team, I think, when the game was on the line, won. We have to find a way on back-to-back nights. We didn't have enough guys good enough, long enough."

Video: TOR@PHI: McElhinney stones Cousins on the doorstep

Babcock said part of what hurt Toronto was faceoffs. The Maple Leafs won 20 of 55 faceoffs, including four of 19 in the third period.

"We didn't win any faceoffs in the third, and they spent more time in our zone shooting the puck and getting it to the net than we did," he said. "… As the game went on, their veteran centers dominated ours. They had the puck. When you don't have the puck, it's hard to play in the offensive zone."

It was the last game for each team prior to the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

Goal of the game

McElhinney made a stick save on Lyubimov's initial shot from below the left circle, but Roman Polak whiffed on a clearing attempt on the rebound, and Lyubimov snuck a shot under McElhinney's right arm for his first game-winning goal in the NHL.

Video: TOR@PHI: Lyubimov gives the Flyers a late lead in 3rd

Save of the game

With eight seconds remaining in the third period and McElhinney pulled for an extra attacker, Neuvirth made a save on Mitchell Marner's low shot through traffic from the right side.

Video: TOR@PHI: Neuvirth blockers away Marner on the rush

Highlight of the game

Simmonds broke in alone, made a nice toe drag and lifted the puck past McElhinney's glove to open the scoring.

Video: TOR@PHI: Simmonds finishes breakaway to open scoring

Unsung performance of the game

The Flyers had 21 blocked shots, with 14 players having at least one.

Video: TOR@PHI: Neuvirth gets help from Streit, Giroux

They said it

"When you're young, you play three minor hockey games in one day … you get a burger and then you have some fries and you put a little ketchup on the side, and you keep playing. You don't know. No one told you (that) you were tired, so you weren't tired. So this is just because now we have all these people working for us, they say you have to eat this and do this. Forget that. Play the game." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock


"He's going somewhere tomorrow and he deserves it. He's an all-star for a reason. Really showed tonight." -- Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere on Wayne Simmonds

Need to know

Toronto forward Leo Komarov left the game with 1:26 left in the second period after being hit in the midsection by a shot by teammate Connor Carrick, but he returned to start the third. … Simmonds has a goal in three straight games, his longest streak since scoring in four in a row Oct. 15-22.

What's next

Maple Leafs: At the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-SW, SNO, NHL.TV)

Flyers: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, CSN-PH, NHL.TV)


Video: Lyubimov's late tally gives Flyers third straight win

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