Leafs get win over playoff hopeful Flyers
The Maple Leafs have no shot at the playoffs, but they outhustled and outplayed the Philadelphia Flyers, who are still trying to get into the postseason.
Jamal Mayers, Lee Stempniak and Ian White scored for already-eliminated Toronto in a 3-2 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
"I don't know about being a spoiler, but there's a lot of pride in this room," Maple Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph said. "We've built a lot of chemistry over the year and I think it's showing here at the end of the year.
"We all get along well and we do a lot of fun things together. That's showing in our play."
Other than Jeff Carter's shot in the closing seconds and a few others in the third period, Joseph had an easy night in making 32 saves.
"I felt I wasn't razor sharp but, fortunately, we battled away, I got good defensive play in front of me, and it worked out," Joseph said.
It was just his 10th start of the season for Joseph, who will turn 42 on April 29.
"The last four or five years I've really appreciated playing. I'd like to keep playing," he said. "As long as I'm healthy and contributing, then I want to continue, for sure."
Arron Asham and Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers, who were outworked all night by the Maple Leafs.
Mayers and Asham exchanged goals in an evenly played opening period.
The Flyers, fourth in the Eastern Conference, are tied in points with the Pittsburgh Penguins with just over one week left in the season.
"The way we played, that's not a playoff team trying to win the Stanley Cup," defenseman Kimmo Timonen. "Let's be honest, the next six games, it's playoff time for us. It's time to wake up and really, really bear down. It's hard to say what the reason is (for lackluster play) but, whatever it is, it has to change."
The Leafs started dominating play in the second period. Flyers goalie Martin Biron kicked out his left leg to stop Jeff Finger's long shot and was sitting in his crease when Stempniak whacked in the rebound at 1:54 as Toronto took a 2-1 lead.
With eight minutes left in the period, the Flyers iced the puck to relieve the pressure. Philadelphia coach John Stevens used his 30-second timeout, but the break didn't help.
White made it 3-1 at 13:03 with a blue-line blast that went over the kneeling Biron's left shoulder. Stevens pulled Biron and sent in Antero Niittymaki after Toronto took a 28-18 edge in shots.
"We wanted to play as if it was a playoff game and for the most part we did," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said.
With Stempniak penalized for holding a stick, Giroux smacked in a rebound on the power play at 17:09 of the third period to bring the Flyers within 3-2.
Philadelphia had a chance to tie it with a faceoff in Toronto's end with 25 seconds left, but Joseph went down to stop Carter's shot.
"(Joseph) didn't have to make, to be honest, very many difficult saves until the last 10 minutes," Wilson said. "We did a good job of keeping them to the outside."
Toronto held a 38-34 edge in shots. ... Toronto was 0-for-4 on the power play, and Philadelphia was 1-for-4. ... The teams meet again Friday night in Philadelphia. ... D Tomas Kaberle returned to Toronto's lineup after missing 12 straight and 25 of 27 due to hand injuries. ... The Flyers signed LW James van Riemsdyk to a multiyear entry-level contract and assigned him to Philadelphia (AHL).