Series (Game 2 of 4)

Philadelphia leads 3-1

Game 1: Wednesday, January 6th
Maple Leafs2Final
Game 2: Thursday, January 14th
Maple Leafs4
Game 3: Sunday, March 7th
Maple Leafs1Final
Game 4: Tuesday, April 6th
Maple Leafs0

Flyers 0

(23-20-3, 49 pts)

Maple Leafs 4

(16-23-9, 41 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 14, 2010

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
PHI 0 0 00
TOR 0 2 24

T. Bozak (Maple Leafs - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

V. Toskala (Maple Leafs - G): Saves: 38, Save Pct.: 1.000

P. Kessel (Maple Leafs - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Flyers-Maple Leafs Preview


The Philadelphia Flyers have scored the first goal in 10 straight games, but they haven't stopped there.

Early leads have keyed the Flyers' 8-1-1 surge, and Philadelphia should have a great opportunity for a fifth consecutive win Thursday night as it visits the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are looking to avoid a fifth straight loss.

Philadelphia (23-19-3) has gone 3-14-0 when failing to score the game's first goal -- a .176 winning percentage that is tied for worst in the league.

The Flyers have taken that stat out of play in the past 10 games. After going 4-1-1 on a six-game road trip, Philadelphia returned home to win three of four, scoring plenty in the process.

Fifteen Flyers have scored during the club's 23-goal binge since Jan. 6. Scott Hartnell took his turn recording the opening goal Tuesday against Dallas, and five teammates followed in a 6-3 win.

The victory lifted Philadelphia past two teams and into seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

"Scoring comes from every line now and that's usually a good sign," said defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who got his first goal in nearly a month. "Hopefully we can keep it going."

Special-teams success has been a huge part of the Flyers' resurgence. Philadelphia went 8 for 17 on the power play over the past four games while killing off all 17 short-handed situations.

A key factor on the penalty kill has been Darroll Powe, a second-year forward who missed 16 games in November and December with a strained left shoulder. He returned Dec. 23 and has played a prominent role when his team has been short-handed, while chipping in a goal and three assists in his last four games.

While the Flyers have scored plenty during their 8-1-1 stretch, Michael Leighton has given them confidence in their own end, starting every game and posting a 2.16 goals-against average. One of those starts came Jan. 6 against Toronto (15-23-9), when he made 30 stops and Danny Briere scored two goals in a 6-2 win.

That game also featured a highlight-reel goal by enforcer Daniel Carcillo, who mocked the Maple Leafs' bench after scoring and was fined by the NHL.

"We'll see what happens. Maybe they'll be a little bit fired up," said Carcillo, who grew up just outside Toronto.

Briere scored the first goal in that victory, and no team has fallen behind more early than the Maple Leafs. Toronto is tied with the Flyers for the league's worst winning percentage when failing to score first, but the Leafs have done it far more often, going 6-21-7.

Toronto gave up the first goal each time in losing its last four games. Carolina mustered only 17 shots on Jonas Gustavsson on Tuesday, but slipped three past him and added an empty netter in a 4-2 win.

"I don't have much to say," said forward Phil Kessel, who has one goal in 13 games. "We're not playing good enough. It's a number of things. We've got to be better."

Opponents are converting on 31.9 percent of their power plays against the Leafs, a number that has climbed recently. Toronto has allowed a power-play goal in nine straight games with the opposition going 14 of 26 in that span.

Philadelphia lost both of its visits to Air Canada Centre in regulation last season -- giving up the first goal each time.