NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Toronto
(Monday, November 6th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Philadelphia 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Andrew Raycroft stopped 40 shots and Nik Antropov's third period goal proved to be the game-winner, as Toronto skated past Philadelphia, 4-1, at Air Canada Centre.
Bates Battaglia, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Tomas Kaberle also scored for the surging Maple Leafs, who won for the fifth time in their last six games. They handed the Buffalo Sabres their first regulation loss of the season in a 4-1 tilt at HSBC Arena on Saturday and on Monday beat Philadelphia for the fifth time in the last six meetings.
The Flyers, meanwhile, are now on a three-game skid after dropping a 5-3 decision to the visiting Capitals in their last game. The orange and black fell to 2-4 under new head coach John Stevens and hold the NHL's worst record with only seven points.
Antero Niittymaki stopped 28 shots in the loss. Ben Eager notched Philadelphia's only goal of the contest.
The Leafs jumped out in front 2-1 with a power play goal at 12:42 in the third. With Kyle Calder off for holding, Mats Sundin won the draw in the offensive zone. Niittymaki stopped Bryan McCabe's 53-foot slapper, then followed up by denying Sundin's snap shot. The netminder couldn't gather the rebound, however, and Antropov was able to poke the loose puck past him to make it a 2-1 game. It was Antropov's first goal of the season.
The success came as a result of head coach Paul Maurice changing up the lines in the intermission.
"Paul told me and Pony (Ponikarovsky) to stand out there at each goal post and pick the garbage," said Antropov afterward. "My job is to do whatever the coach puts me on the ice to do, and to do my best. The three of us (including Sundin) are about 600 pounds combined and that's gonna make something happen."
Philadelphia had a man-advantage opportunity with 7:40 remaining, but tested Raycroft just three times and couldn't tie the game.
"Our guys did a great job having to kill a bunch of penalties in the second period," said Raycroft. "They cleared out the front of the net and made it easy for me to see the puck."
Toronto then doubled its lead with 3:54 left as Ponikarovsky beat Niittymaki top-shelf with a blazing wrist shot to make it 3-1.
Kaberle's empty-net goal iced the game just 1:13 before the final whistle. It was the defenseman's sixth tally of the year.
Battaglia got the Leafs on the board just 5:25 in. The left winger came from behind the net and kept the puck to the outside while protecting it with his body. He then used a nifty spin move off just off the right side, slipping the puck under Niittymaki's glove with a wrist shot.
Philadelphia tied it at 2:32 of the second period. On a backhand pass from Eric Meloche, Eager beat Raycroft down low to notch his first goal of the season.
The Flyers finished 0-for-7 on the power play, while the Leafs went 1-for-7...Philadelphia outshot Toronto 17-3 in the second period...The Flyers are winless this year when allowing more than three goals...Philadelphia will host the NY Islanders on Thursday, while the Maple Leafs will visit Boston the same night...Toronto won three of the four meetings between the teams last season...The Flyers and Leafs don't play against each other again until February 15.
11/06 23:04:48 ET