The Leafs hosted surging Metro division rivals the Philadelphia Flyers tonight, both teams narrowly holding onto playoff spots and looking to further bolster their post-season chances. With eight wins in their last ten games, the Flyers looked like threatening opposition for the Leafs to contend with.
The Flyers didn’t live up to their current form early however and the Leafs took advantage, Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri both sniped in early goals to give the Leafs a 2-0 less than four minutes into the game. Though no more goals were scored in the period after that point both teams kept up a fast pace, trading chances until the horn rang.
The fast play continued into the second period, Matt Read thought he had scored after jamming the puck past Jonathan Bernier but the goal was disallowed as is was determined Bernier had covered the puck with his blocker before the goal. Frazer McLaren and Jay Rosehill dropped the gloves for a spirited tilt at the halfway mark of the game. The Flyers finally cut the Leafs’ lead in half at 18:02 when Kimo Timonen’s wrist shot snuck past Bernier.
It was Timonen again in the third period as he tied the game with a backhander after Dion Phaneuf lost a puck battle behind the net with Jakub Voracek. The Leafs re-took their lead moments later when Mason Raymond’s one timer got through Steve Mason. Braydon Coburn tied the game up with 2:32 when his slap shot went through multiple bodies to find its way to the net. Neither team scored again in the period, sending the game to overtime.
Philadelphia had momentum early in overtime but Joffrey Lupul’s hard work to move the puck out of the defensive zone got the Leafs offensive zone time which they didn’t waste, Phaneuf drew an assist with Lupul scoring the winner by way of a chip shot over a downed Mason.