The Toronto Maple Leafs cruised to a 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. Tyler Bertuzzi led the way with two goals (should've been a hat trick), followed by Auston Matthews' 55th and William Nylander's 35th goals of the year. Pontus Holmberg and Timothy Liljegren also scored to put a nice bow on the night.

Ilya Samsonov stopped 26 of 28 shots he faced in the win, giving him the second highest winning percentage in the league somehow. Across from him was rookie Samuel Ersson, who was chased after one period after giving up three goals on 12 shots. The slightly older but less experienced Felix Sandstrom, who had his moments in this game, but was also given nothing by the defense in front of him and allowed three more goals on 15 shots. Expected goals were 70% in the Leafs favour overall.

Blob. Of. Death!

First Period


Bertuzzi opened the scoring with a deft deflection off Matthews' rocket pass from the slot. Nylander broke the play open through a doodle from the outside into the slot. Bert really needed all of his strength on his lower hand to keep his stick from bending away from Matthews' pass. Is that sort of like a reverse energy transfer from a slapshot?

Lyubushkin stepped up in the neutral zone to stop a stretch pass, but the Flyers were able to get around him and create a breakaway on Samsonov. On the play, Lyubushkin took some kind of hit and had to leave the game for about 5-10 minutes. He eventually did return in the first period.


Holmberg connects with Dewar and Rielly to double. the lead off a faceoff! A broken play got a favourable bounce to Holmberg in the slot before any of the Flyers could get to him. He roofed it for his fourth goal of the season. This was also Dewar's first point with the Leafs in his second game with the team.

3-0 (nevermind)

This was dumb, but I don't care too badly because it was an easy win for the Leafs anyway. Bertuzzi scored an amazing goal from a swinging bunt for his second of the game. Shockingly, it was decided through a coach's challenge that Matthews played the puck with his hand, killing the play. The review showed Matthews getting slammed into the boards behind the net and his hand falling near the puck, but he never grabbed the puck or pushed it to Bertuzzi, who eventually got the puck back to the point. It was nowhere near enough to influence the play. Whatever.


This made the Bertuzzi call a little easier to swallow because Liljegren skated up the ice and shot a knuckler past Ersson. It was as the penalty to Rielly was ending so it was called at even strength.

With Boosh back, he and Rielly showed some good teamwork, including this disruption on a breakaway for Gurianov. Good use of sticks, didn't take a penalty. Well done.

After One

Easy breezy period for the Leafs who shot four pucks into the net and outshot the Flyers 22-17, with 84% of the expected goals.

Ersson was pulled after the first period, replaced by Felix Sandstrom.

Second Period

McCabe needed to take a penalty down low in the defensive zone to prevent a scoring chance, he went to the box for tripping Poehling (he was acquired on waivers from Montreal).


Owen Tippett scored on the power play immediately with a shot from a rebound off the end boards. Lyubushkin turned the long way and wasn't quite in the right spot to block the shot. Samsonov had committed to the point shot that he was out of the play for the second chance.

Almost immediately after the ppg, Couturier took a puck over glass penalty, sending the Leafs to the power play. On it, Hathaway lost a skate blade, creating chaos on the Flyers end. It was pretty funny but I don't think the Leafs did a great job of taking advantage of it. After the puck was frozen by Sandstrom, Hathaway tried to get into the scrum and fight someone without a skate.

Järnkrok fell shoulder-first into the boards after he was pushed off balance by a Flyers defender at full speed. He didn't return to the game.

After Two

More power plays, fewer goals. Shots were 15-13 for the Leafs, and had 63% of the expected goals.

Hathaway continued to get involved in scrums, just wanted to note that.

Third Period


55! Matthews scores with a snipe, but Lyubushkin got hammered into the boards. It was the 40th even strength goal of the season for Auston. Lyubushkin did stay in the game, and was performing well all night, but it was a second big knock of the game.


Nylander eight seconds later and it's a rout! That was Nylander's 35th goal of the season and a snipe from the top of the slot. The Flyers are really bad in their own zone.


Speaking of really bad in their own zone. The Leafs were on the power play and with the second unit out there, the Flyers dropped three of their defending sticks on the ground and started doing synchronized swimming in front of Sandstrom. It was nothing short of a shooting gallery for the second unit and a complete breakdown for Tortorella's team (who were without Tortorella because he's suspended). Eventually the Leafs passed through some feet and gave Knies a tap-in from the side of the net.

Hathaway and Domi were kicked from the game with five minutes to go because of their words on the bench to each other. The refs didn't want any extra dramas.

Leafs got a power play in the last few minutes. They put their first unit out for about 20 seconds, but that was enough to get the Flyers up on their high, losing, horses. Reaves was on the third power play unit... I wonder what happened next.


Exactly what you expected, a shorthanded goal because why would you ever play Reaves. But also Couturier dummied Liljegren.