for this game

Maple Leafs take advantage of emotionally spent Flyers

Feb 16, 2007 - 5:46 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- When the Philadelphia Flyers arrived at the Wachovia Center, they were hoping Peter Forsberg would help lead them to a third straight home win. By the end of the night, they no longer had their captain or a home winning streak.

Mats Sundin had a goal and an assist and Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs skated to a 4-2 victory over the Flyers, who traded Forsberg prior to the game.

After taking part in the pregame skate, Forsberg was dealt to the Western Conference-leading Nashville Predators for two young players and a pair of picks in the upcoming draft in June. The Flyers were visibly affected by the trade, allowing three goals in the first 14:10 of the contest and never recovering.

"It was tough, but we had to deal with it," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "I understand what it does to the psyche of the players when your friend is gone and when one of your best players is gone. ... I thought we had a little trouble early on."

All-Star Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble, Forsberg's linemates, admitted having trouble focusing on the game.

"That was not easy," Gagne said. "Peter was getting ready to play with us, and just five minutes before the game, (general manager) Paul Holmgren came into the locker room. You could see that Peter's skates and equipment were not there and (Holmgren) said that the trade was made. It was not easy to go out and play right away. There was a lot of emotion in the locker room right before the game."

"To say we were all shocked is an understatement," Knuble added. "I think we had all heard about the meeting (Forsberg and team chairman Ed Snider) had today. Things had quieted down here for a bit, so it was a shock. It did affect us in our game."

Jeff O'Neill began the early outburst for Toronto at 6:39 and Nik Antropov doubled the lead just over two minutes later. Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo tallied with less than six minutes remaining in the session, staking the Maple Leafs to a three-goal bulge and chasing goaltender Michael Leighton, who had won each of his previous two starts with the Flyers.

Gagne got Philadelphia on the board midway through the second period, but Sundin scored with 8:14 to go in the third to put Toronto ahead, 4-1. It was the 1,220th career point for the Maple Leafs captain, who passed Hall of Famer Jean Beliveau for 36th place on the all-time list.

Defenseman Bryan McCabe recorded a pair of assists and Raycroft made 15 of his saves in the third period for Toronto, which halted a three-game skid.

"We played a really strong first (period) and we fell back in the second," Sundin said. "We felt lucky to come out on top in the third. I felt that Raycroft made some key saves. We can't be happy with the way we played the last two periods."

"We shot the puck better in the first period and we didn't pass any up, and that was the difference," Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice said. "We have to find a way to bring our road calm to home games. We work the puck a little better on the road. We have a lot of confidence on the road."

Gagne recorded an assist on Knuble's third-period goal and Antero Niittymaki turned aside 19 shots in relief for the Flyers, who have lost four straight meetings with the Maple Leafs.

O'Neill opened the scoring with his 19th goal, receiving a backhand pass from the left wing boards by Matt Stajan and beating Leighton to the stick side with a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle.

"I'm just looking to get hot," O'Neill said. "I could get 30 goals this season and that's what I'm looking at. Just get some timely goals and help the team win is all I'm asking of myself."

Antropov scored his second tally in three games during a 5-on-3 power play at 8:44, firing a wrister past Leighton from the right circle. Colaiacovo notched his first goal in 15 games with 5:50 to go in the first, putting a wrister between Leighton's pads from the right circle moments after serving a penalty.

Gagne extended his goal-scoring streak to four games at 12:10 of the second, netting his seventh tally in six contests with a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle during a power play that sailed over Raycroft's left shoulder.

Sundin restored Toronto's three-goal lead midway through the third with a shot from the right circle that found the top portion of the net.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 3 0 1 4
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - JEFF O'NEILL 19 (MATT STAJAN, ALEX STEEN) 6:39
    TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 10 (MATS SUNDIN, BRYAN MCCABE) 8:44
    TOR - CARLO COLAIACOVO 4 (PAVEL KUBINA) 14:10
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 30 (ALEXEI ZHITNIK, JONI P

    Feb 15 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 4
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 22 (JEFF CARTER, SIMON GAGNE) 14:46

    Maple Leafs vs. FlyersFeb 15 9:20 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 4
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - MATS SUNDIN 23 (BRYAN MCCABE, ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY)
    11:46

    Maple Leafs vs. FlyersFeb 15 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 3 0 3
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - JEFF O'NEILL 19 (MATT STAJAN, ALEX STEEN) 6:39
    TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 10 (MATS SUNDIN, BRYAN MCCABE) 8:44
    TOR - CARLO COLAIACOVO 4 (PAVEL KUBINA) 14:10
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 30 (ALEXEI ZH

    Feb 15 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 30 (ALEXEI ZHITNIK, JONI PITKANEN)
    12:10

    Maple Leafs vs. FlyersFeb 15 8:27 PM


  • ------------------------
    Toronto
    3 --3
    Philadelphia 0 --0
    ------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Toronto, Jeff O'Neill 19 (Matt Stajan),
    6:39. 2, Toronto, Nik Antropov 10 (power play) (Mats Sundin, Bryan
    Mccabe), 8:44. 3, Toronto, Carlo Colaiacovo 4 (Pavel Kubina), 14:10.
    Penalties: G Sanderson, Phi (high sticking), 7:16; S Kapanen, Phi
    (hooking), 8:20; C Colaiacovo, Tor

    Feb 15 7:48 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: TOR - CARLO COLAIACOVO 4 (PAVEL KUBINA) 14:10

    Maple Leafs vs. FlyersFeb 15 7:37 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 2
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 10 (MATS SUNDIN, BRYAN MCCABE) 8:44

    Maple Leafs vs. FlyersFeb 15 7:25 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: TOR - JEFF O'NEILL 19 (MATT STAJAN) 6:39

    Maple Leafs vs. FlyersFeb 15 7:19 PM