The Flyers hosted the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday evening at the Wells Fargo Center. When tuning into the game, it just held a different 'feel' to it and with a call to duty for Sergei Bobrovsky (as Bryzgalov reportedly had the Flu), it was appropriately so.
Nothing against Bryz, but watching Bob last season and knowing his playing potential - a regulation win was a definite possibility for this struggling Flyers squad and Bobrovsky did indeed deliver just such at a final score of 4-3.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves, including a stellar pad block on Bozak's stinging shot during a 4-on-2 rush. He had this to say following the game: "It was nice to have a chance to redeem myself."
As he definitely did following his career worst six goals allowed in a 6-4 loss to the Devils this past Saturday. He made great saves all the way through, avoiding any overtime or the dreaded shootouts that have plagued the Flyers for sometime now and improved his record to (12-5-1) on the season.
The Leafs held great stride in scoring three solid goals against the Russian net-minder, but the Flyers were strong on all fronts in this appearance across the board. The combined efforts from their gunning offense, solid defense consistently and again, Bob in net made for a more recognizable Flyers team. The Flyers needed this victory to strengthen their hold on fourth place in the Eastern Conference and to snap their three game losing streak as of late.
The Flyers defense was up to the task as the Leafs came at them in the third period, which included a power-play during the final two minutes of the game and turned into a two-man advantage with an empty net.
Claude Giroux flashed back to familiar ground scoring his 21st goal, Brayden Schenn (scoring only 1:14 behind Giroux's goal), Max Talbot and Scott Hartnell all contributed to this victory -- Hartnell scored a Gordie Howe hat trick and also tangled with the Leaf's Dion Phaneuf immediately following his goal with (5:22) remaining in the first period. (Video at the bottom of page).
"He wasn't happy, and he let me know that," Phaneuf said.
It was adifferent bout for Toronto's Mike Brown when he got the best of Zac Rinaldo in a first-period fight, landing several punches during a flurry of fists.
Lupul and Bozak added goals to being the Leafs to within one...but that is as close as they would get to stripping this win from Bob and the Bullies. Toronto’s Tyler Bozak scored his second goal of the second period at (18:09) to cap off a wild six-goal period. Bozak roofed his 12th of the season from the top of the crease. Lupul hadn't scored 20 goals in a season since getting 25 for the Flyers in 2008-09.
These combined effoerts brought the Leafs to (6-2-1) in their last nine appearances.
"They were a team that lost three in a row, and they just took it to us in the first." Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "We coughed up the puck too much. We worked so hard to make it 2-2. We just have to learn from it." The Leafs have two more opportunities to face the Flyers in March this regular season to try show they did learn from this loss on Philly ice. The Leafs have now lost two straight.
The Flyers host the Eatern Conference leading NY Rangers for a matinee the coming Saturday at 1:00 pm and the Leafs welcome the Habs next on their regular season schedule.