NHL

Flyers 3, Maple Leafs 2

Share This Story

   
 

TORONTO (AP)

At a time when questionable hits have dominated discussion around the NHL, Mike Komisarek put the Toronto Maple Leafs in a difficult position with one of his own.

The defenseman was ejected early in Toronto's game Thursday night for shoving Philadelphia's Daniel Carcillo into the boards from behind and the Maple Leafs never totally recovered. The Flyers scored on the ensuing power play and led the rest of the way in a 3-2 victory.

Even though Komisarek's hit wasn't as egregious as others that have drawn headlines recently, the Maple Leafs thought referees Mike Leggo and Brian Pochmara made the correct call on the play.

''It's a 5-minute major - he cross-checked him in the lower back from behind in a vulnerable position,'' Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. ''Whether the guy's acting or not, he did kind of a wishbone into the boards. We would expect the same thing in return.''

Carcillo briefly went to the visiting dressing room for some treatment before returning to the bench. He would have preferred Komisarek wasn't thrown out of the game.

''I kind of would have liked to see him stay on the ice, to do something about it,'' Carcillo said. ''But I'll have to wait until next year.''

With a third loss in three games, the Maple Leafs are in danger of having to wait until next year for another crack at the playoffs. They're six points behind the Rangers and Buffalo - 4-3 overtime winners in Boston - heading into a pivotal Saturday night matchup with the Sabres at Air Canada Centre.

The players are trying to hold out hope.

''I guess this just makes Saturday's game all the more important,'' forward Joffrey Lupul said. ''There's a lot of games left but this is basically as close to a must win as you can get.''

The Eastern Conference-leading Flyers managed to play a tight-checking game despite missing top defenseman Chris Pronger because of an upper-body injury.

Andrej Meszaros, Darroll Powe and Claude Giroux scored for Philadelphia, which won back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks.

''The last month, we haven't been playing the way we should,'' Giroux said. ''I think tonight we played a 60-minute game and guys were playing together and the puck was moving and we had fun doing it.''

Mikhail Grabovski and Lupul replied for the Maple Leafs.

Toronto found itself playing from behind all evening. Not only was Komisarek's ejection costly because it allowed Meszaros to open the scoring, but it also forced Wilson to rely more heavily on his other blue-liners.

''Well you're down to five (defensemen) with 56 minutes left out of 60,'' said Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, who played a game-high 29:35. ''It's not good when you lose a D-man that early. It's part of the game and I though we adapted OK.''

James Reimer finished with 30 saves but was left kicking himself for Philadelphia's second goal. He was trying to get up off the ice when Powe swept a shot from an awkward angle through his legs at 9:36 of the second period.

''We lost by one goal,'' Reimer said. ''If I don't make that mistake we're in overtime.''

Grabovski gave Toronto a brief shot of life with the most painful of his 26 goals this season. He was standing at the side of the goal when Phaneuf's point shot ricocheted off his visor and past Brian Boucher at 11:13.

''Thank God he's wearing a shield, which everybody should be wearing for that very reason right there,'' Wilson said. ''He'd have gotten the puck right in the forehead.''

It was the Leafs' first power-play goal in six games.

The team pushed hard for the tying goal immediately after that - Boucher robbed Colby Armstrong with his glove - until Giroux put the Flyers ahead 3-1 at 14:40. He went to the center of the ice just as the puck arrived on his stick and beat Reimer.

Energy-line player Mike Brown was an unlikely catalyst for Toronto in the third period, turning defenseman Sean O'Donnell inside-out before setting up Lupul's goal at 7:56. But the team was unable to get another puck past Boucher.

''We played hard, but we didn't play hard enough,'' Phaneuf said. ''It's a disappointing loss, that's for sure.''

NOTES: Since dealing Kris Versteeg to the Flyers on Feb. 14, Toronto has gone 6-2-4. ... Jay Rosehill and Jonas Gustavsson were healthy scratches for Toronto. Andreas Nodl and Nikolay Zherdev sat out for the Flyers.

Tagged: Flyers, Maple Leafs, Brian Boucher, Joffrey Lupul, Mike Komisarek, Dion Phaneuf, Mike Brown, Claude Giroux, Darroll Powe, James Reimer

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt