A strong showing by McElhinney and Nylander wasn’t enough for the Leafs to beat out the Flyers…….
The Leafs came out strong in the first and looked ready to pounce on an equally tired Flyers. The Leafs were everywhere and spent most of the time in the Flyers zone, so it was only fitting that when Bozak drew a 4 minute power play, the Leafs looked poised to score. This didn’t happen. The Leafs couldn’t set up, wouldn’t get in position and for the league’s best road PP, they looked sloppy. The Flyers jumped and completely dominated the penalty and with that stole the momentum. It took one boneheaded giveaway by Hunwick to spring Wayne Simmonds loose on a defenseless McElhinney. Simmonds did what Simmonds does best, scored. The Leafs looked to recover and Radko Gudas has one dirty knee-on-knee hit on Kadri. Again power play couldn’t set up, 2 SOG, but the Leafs looked strong. It was clear, the score of the game would not be 1-0 by the end.
The Leafs were once again starting strong and playing well. The 4th line has been especially impressive. The Flyers had a great amount of chances but McElhinney answered the call every single time. If McElhinney wasn’t sharp, the Leafs would probably be out of this one. The save on Vorachek stood out instantly. The Leafs were again throwing everything at the net and Neuvirth was ready. On the occasion when he wasn’t Streit was there to block Zaitsev. It felt like the Leafs wouldn’t breakthrough but Nylander plowed into the zone and was relentless to break the tie. From entry to goal, Nylander was powering that line and was determined not to leave the ice without a goal. The period ended with Komarov taking a puck off the ankle and skating to the locker room.
The third period started off with the Flyers controlling the play. Again if it wasn’t for McElhinney the game would have been over 3 mins into this period. Couturier, robbed. Provorov, robbed. It seemed like he was seeing everything out there and to make matters worse halfway through the period the Leafs only had 2 shots on nets. After a strong shift by Nylander, the leafs got a boost. Brown’s shot went off a skate in front nearly eluded Neuvirth but ended up hitting the post. As the period went on tension was rising. The Flyers upped the pressure and in a battle two 4th lines, Lubimov converted on a pass from Streit to knock in his own rebound. With the goalie pulled the Leafs pressured late but it wasn’t meant to be. The Leafs fell apart plain and simple. In a game where they constantly seemed to be stronger than the Flyers. The Flyer had the puck more, where in the zone more, shot more and generally had a pulse. Both Matthews and Marner seemed absent today.
By The Numbers
Goals By Period
Shots By Period
Skaters At A Glance
Chart Data via naturalstattrick.com
PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
MICHAEL NYLANDER** — POST GAME
GAME IN SIX
Will be posted when video becomes available………..
In the mean time enjoy some more Babcock…