|TOR||0||0||2||(0 - 0)||2|
|PHI||2||1||3||(0 - 0)||6|
PHILADELPHIA - Hitting the road for the holidays appears to have been just what the Philadelphia Flyers needed to find their game.
Philadelphia improved to 5-1-1 in its lasts seven games with a 6-2 victory over the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. It was the Flyers' first home game since a 4-1 loss to Florida on Dec. 21 -- a defeat that dropped them to 2-10-1 in a 13-game slide that included the firing of coach John Stevens and the hiring of Peter Laviolette.
"We didn't play very good hockey in front of our fans just before Christmas," said forward Danny Briere, whose 500th NHL point was one of his two goals. "We got our chance to regroup and get our confidence back on the road. Tonight, the way we played and the way the crowd cheered us on in the second and third period, this is a good sign."
Laviolette said he has long been impressed with Briere, having coached against him while running the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes.
"He's just a guy who is really quick, agile and hard to contain," Laviolette said. "He gets into areas, he's got skill, a great playmaker, a great goal-scorer."
Laviolette was also impressed with Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton, whom he coached briefly in Carolina and who improved to 5-0-1 with a 2.03 goals-against average and .932 save percentage since being claimed off waivers from Carolina on Dec. 5.
"He's played well," Laviolette said. "It should get recognized that he had to make some big saves tonight, really big saves. They were at the point, early, when the game was 0-0, 2-0 and 3-0. He came up with some big saves. Again, Michael Leighton has given us a chance to win a game."
The Leafs came into the game with the NHL's poorest penalty-killing unit, and the Flyers made them pay with three goals in six tries during a game that featured 15:23 of power-play time, eight fighting majors and a pair of misconducts.
The Flyers scored on their first shot when Briere lifted a power-play goal over Jonas Gustavsson's right arm at 4:11 of the first period after Alexei Ponikarovsky was penalized for tripping Claude Giroux in Toronto's offensive zone. The goal came on the Flyers' first shot of the game after Toronto had outshot the Flyers 4-0 to that point.
"They came out hard and we kind of weathered the storm," Briere said. "But after that we slowly took over the game -- and except for a couple shifts here and there I thought we played a very strong game tonight."
The Flyers' second goal resulted from hard work by their third line. Darroll Powe chased Jason Blake and the puck to the right boards in the Toronto zone and drove Blake into the boards, freeing the puck. Coming back from the goal line, Arron Asham outskated John Mitchell to the loose puck and threw a backhand pass to Danny Syvret, who scored his second NHL goal with a hard slap shot past Gustavsson's glove at 19:09.
Syvret got his first career goal Friday against the Boston Bruins at Fenway Park when he scored the game's first goal in the Flyers' 2-1overtime loss.
Toronto coach Ron Wilson was upset with his team, which was unable to build on Tuesday's 3-2 win over Florida.
"I'm sure they'll say that but there's no excuse," he said when asked if his players might have been tired. "You come out, shot out of a cannon and they're on their heels and then we had a few guys didn't compete at the level that we need and the next thing you know it's 2-0.
"We didn't battle for pucks in our end. We were last to every confrontation. We didn't challenge for pucks and if challenged, we often turned it over. You can't win, especially on the road if you're not competing at the level that you need to.
"You're standing beside a guy, watching him shoot it into the net," Wilson added. "We didn't have any energy for some reason until it was too late."
The Flyers continued to dominate in the second period, outshooting Toronto 5-0 over the first 7:38 and making it 3-0 at 10:13 when Dan Carcillo scored with his fourth and undoubtedly most skilled goal of the season. Blair Betts carried the puck into the Toronto zone and passed to Carcillo on the left side. Carcillo started down the left side and stopped, causing Luke Schenn to fall down. Carcillo cut to the right and evaded defenseman Tomas Kaberle before beating Gustavsson low on the right side.
|PPG - Daniel Briere (15) ASST: Jeff Carter (20), Chris Pronger (21)|
1 - 0 PHI
|Danny Syvret (2) ASST: Arron Asham (6)|
2 - 0 PHI
|Daniel Carcillo (4) ASST: Blair Betts (3), Ian Laperriere (7)|
3 - 0 PHI
|PPG - Mike Richards (18) ASST: Simon Gagne (9), Chris Pronger (22)|
4 - 0 PHI
|Nikolay Kulemin (7) ASST: Matt Stajan (20), Ian White (14)|
4 - 1 PHI
|Daniel Briere (16) ASST: James van Riemsdyk (16), Jeff Carter (21)|
5 - 1 PHI
|Alexei Ponikarovsky (15) ASST: Tomas Kaberle (34), Matt Stajan (21)|
5 - 2 PHI
|PPG - James van Riemsdyk (8) ASST: Chris Pronger (23), Kimmo Timonen (19)|
6 - 2 PHI
|Jamal Mayers Fighting against Ian Laperriere|
|Ian Laperriere Fighting against Jamal Mayers|
|Alexei Ponikarovsky Hi-sticking against Claude Giroux|
|Rickard Wallin Interference against Darroll Powe|
|Jamal Mayers Roughing against Scott Hartnell|
|Chris Pronger Slashing against Phil Kessel|
|Danny Syvret Tripping against Alexei Ponikarovsky|
|Oskars Bartulis Holding against Alexei Ponikarovsky|
|Mike Richards Boarding against Nikolay Kulemin|
|Colton Orr Roughing against Mike Richards|
|Arron Asham Fighting against Garnet Exelby|
|Garnet Exelby Fighting against Arron Asham|
|Jeff Finger Fighting against Scott Hartnell|
|Scott Hartnell Fighting against Jeff Finger|
|Daniel Carcillo Fighting against Jamal Mayers|
|Jamal Mayers Fighting against Daniel Carcillo|
|Francois Beauchemin Cross checking against Mike Richards|
|Garnet Exelby Boarding against Scott Hartnell|
|Garnet Exelby Misconduct against Scott Hartnell|
|Scott Hartnell Misconduct against Garnet Exelby|
|SA: 32||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 26||EV: 21 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 6|
|SV%: .813||SH: 2 - 2|
|SA: 32||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 30||EV: 26 - 28|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 4|
|SV%: .938||SH: 0 - 0|