Toronto got their first chance on the power-play with 13:23 remaining in the first period after Keith Yandle took a hooking penalty. The league’s best power play really couldn’t get anything going on their first opportunity and the game remained scoreless.
The Leafs would get their second chance on the power play with seven minutes to play after ZacK MacEwen was also called for hooking. The Flyers’ penalty kill did a great job breaking up plays at the blue line and not letting the Leafs get step up, and again kept Toronto off the board.
Just after the Leafs’ failed power play the Flyers would get their first opportunity on the man advantage, thanks to a David Kampf holding call. The Flyers were able to get to set up and work the puck around but never really had any dangerous opportunities. Nevertheless, it was nice to see little improvements, especially in an area the Flyers have really struggled this season.
The period ended with the score 0-0 and the shots 15-12 in favor of the Flyers. Despite this, the Leafs had the better opportunities and forced Martin Jones to make some very solid saves throughout the period.
The first goal of the game courtesy of Timothy Liljegren, who had a wide open shot from the inside right hash mark that beat Martin Jones to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.
The Flyers tied things up after a point shot from Keith Yandle led to a net front scramble that ended with James van Riemsdyk putting it past Jack Campbell.
The Maple Leafs got their third power-play chance of the game after Ivan Provorov was called for an unfortunate holding penalty. This time the Maple Leafs made the Flyers pay after Mitch Marner made a cross ice pass to William Nylander, who wristed it home to give the Leafs a 2-1 lead.
The Flyers would get a chance to even things up a few minutes later after Travis Sanheim was tripped up. However, it was a short lived power play when Kevin Hayes took a hooking penalty just 13 seconds into the Flyers man advantage, making it 4-on-4 hockey.
The Leafs made it 3-1 with just 25 seconds remaining in the period after Owen Tippett turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Yandle fell down, leaving Jones on an island. Mark Giordano then slid the puck across to Jason Spezza, who deposited it into an open net.
Early in the third period the Leafs got another power play chance after a questionable cross-checking call on Travis Sanheim. It was a very scrambled penalty kill with a lot of good chances early, but somehow the Flyers managed to kill it off to keep the deficit at two.
With 14:34 remaining T.J. Brodie was called for a cross check, giving Philly their third power-play of the game. However they were not able to score on this one either, making them eight for their last 100 power plays.
Nylander helped make it 4-1 Maple Leafs with his second goal of the game, after one of the stranger goals I’ve seen that definitely could have been challenged for goaltender interference. It appeared that Nylander made contact with Jones’ skate in the blue paint, but the Flyers decide not to review the goal.
One of the bright spots in the game came with 2:34 remaining when Ronnie Attard absolutely ripped a wrist shot just over Campbell’s left shoulder to make it a 4-2 Toronto lead.
Nice snipe for the rookie Ronnie Attard pic.twitter.com/DirPfwBuXs— Nasty Knuckles (@NastyKnuckles) April 20, 2022
The Maple Leafs put a bow on this one after they won a board battle with Martin Jones pulled and chipped the puck ahead to Ilya Mikheyev who passed it into the empty net to make it a 5-2 final.
The Maple Leafs seemed like they were sleepwalking through the first period before taking over in the second and third. Despite the Flyers outshooting the Leafs 40-29, it felt like Toronto controlled the game and overall it ended up being a pretty comfortable win for them. That isn’t to say the Flyers did not play well, but again they made some costly mistakes and just didn’t have the talent to keep up with the Leafs.
The star of the game was William Nylander who finished with two goals (although the second may still be in question) and an assist. He was noticeable all game and really stepped up in place of the injured Auston Matthews. For the Flyers, Bobby Brink was credited with eight hits, Provorov was credited with six shots, five hits, and three blocks, and Sanheim recorded six shots, four hits, and two blocks.
Next up the Flyers continue their short trip through Canada when they travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens on Thursday night. This game will have huge draft implication as the Flyers are six points ahead of the Habs with five games to play.