they’d had a 6’1”, 200 pound weight lifted off their shoulders, the Leafs took
their streak to two in a 3-2 win against the Flyers at the ACC Thursday night.
Not for lack of
trying, the Flyers out-shot the Leafs by more than 3:1, but still couldn’t make it happen and were sent packing.
Two power plays, one for each side, went by scoreless in the first and fans watching may have thought they’d tuned into a soccer game
by mistake, but the all-passing, no shooting match turned around when Kessel
scored the first goal, assisted by Bozak, at 17:35 into the game to end the first period 1-0 for the Leafs.
In his first game back after 12 off for a hand injury, Phaneuf was visibly limping as he left the ice after the first 20 minutes of play, but came back to finish the contest with no apparent problems.
The Clarkson trade may have been on everyone’s mind, but Bernier was able to maintain a laser-like focus as the game heated up after the first break. With help from van Riemsdyk and Rielly, Bozak scored at 5:33 into the second, and the Flyers reacted like someone insulted their mother. Keeping it in the Leafs’ zone, Philly out-shot the Leafs 15-2 in the second, but were denied by Bernier every time.
Phaneuf opened the third with the third goal of the game, scoring at 1:22 into the period assisted by Kessel and Gardiner. With nine more minutes of scoreless play, it looked like it would be a shutout for the Leafs when the big excitement of the night came at 10:39 into the thrid. Holland appeared to fall into goalie Mason inside the crease and Voracek took it personally, cross-checking the Leafs’ forward in the back. This started a brawl behind the Flyers’ net and resulted in a four-minute penalty for Holland for slashing and roughing and two minutes for Voracek also for roughing.
Giroux scored the Flyers’ first goal, assisted by Del Zotto and Streit with just under nine minutes left in the game bringing the score to 3-1. At 14:27 Brayden Schenn took advantage of Hollands’ penalty and scored a power play goal assisted by Streit and Giroux to finish off the game at 3-2 for the Leafs.
Not a huge fan of Reimer’s performance this season, I was glad to see a Leaf’s goalie give it everything he’s got. Blocking all but two of the Flyers’ 49 shots, this was definitely Bernier’s game.
See You Saturday
It’s Hockey Night in Canada this Saturday as the Leafs face the Habs in Montreal. Game time is 7 p.m.