The Leafs were able to carry the road-trip momentum back to Toronto for their second win at the Air Canada Centre this season.
The Leafs were caught off guard early though, as Wayne Simmons was able to bury a rebound past James Reimer just 38 seconds into the game. Wouldn’t you know it, Luke Schenn picked up an assist on the point shot.
Aside from the worrisome opening few minutes, the Leafs dominated the opening period with multiple energy shifts from the third and fourth lines.
Nikolai Kulemin sprung a play off a big Reimer save and Dion Phaneuf blasted a one-timer through Ilya Bryzgalov to tie the game. James Reimer then absolutely robbed Matt Read on a play that will make its way onto TSN’s Highlight of the Night segment.
The second period saw the Leafs take complete control of the game. It didn’t take long for the fourth line’s hard work to pay off. Colton Orr scored on a rebound and before you could tweet the goal, Matt Frattin tipped home his seventh of the year.
Despite the domination, the Leafs roller coaster was about to drop.
Reimer went down after a scramble in front of the net and he couldn’t get up. Jean-Michael Liles had to help skate him off the ice as Reimer looked to be in significant pain.
Enter Ben Scrivens.
After a scary moment on his first save, Scrivens picked up where Reimer left off in brilliant fashion.
It didn’t take long for the Leafs offense to take the pressure off the goaltender either. Clarke MacArthur fired a one-timer past Bryzgalov on a superb play from Nazem Kadri.
After the fourth goal, the Flyers were able to turn the tide. They began to pelt Scrivens with shot-after-shot and countless scoring chances… but nothing on the scoreboard.
As fate would have it, James van Riemsdyk beat Luke Schenn wide and put the puck behind his former team.
The Flyers would also tally late en route to a 5-2 finish. Scrivens stopped a whopping 32 pucks as the Leafs were out-shot 46-24.
Leafs fans, though happy about their fourth straight win, had to feel a little sick in their gut after watching Reimer being helped off the ice. However, head coach Randy Carlyle said he doesn’t expect the injury to be serious and that he shouldn’t miss any significant time.
Exhale Leafs Nation.
The fourth line is earning its keep in the blue and white. The entire first period was dominated by great shifts by the third and fourth lines.
The Kadri-Frattin-Komarov line continues to produce the most scoring chances and has picked up the slack the top two lines have been letting.
Kadri and Frattin have certainly solidified their roster spots with the pending returns of Joffrey Lupul and Mike Brown.
While the Leafs await official word on the injury to Reimer, it doesn’t appear to be serious. Reimer’s play has put away the immediate concerns in net and the possibility of making a trade for a veteran goaltender.
After an extremely busy week, the Leafs will enjoy a couple nights off before facing the Hurricanes in Carolina on Thursday.
The Leafs have won four straight and have appeared to silence all critics at home. It may be a little too early to get excited, but remember the Leafs have been without the likes of Lupul, Gardiner, Gunnarsson and Brown.