TORONTO (AP) — Danny Briere scored twice and the Philadelphia cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs after building a three-goal lead on Thursday night.
Briere scored Philadelphia’s final two goals to give him a team-leading 16 this season. Ville Leino and Chris Pronger also scored for Philadelphia (18-7-5). Ville Leino and Chris Pronger put the Flyers (18-7-5) ahead 2-0 in the first period.
Brian Boucher made 31 saves in the victory.
Mikhail Grabovski scored his third goal in three games, but the Maple Leafs (10-14-4) fell behind by three goals for the third consecutive game and second straight night. Toronto has trailed 1-0 in five straight games.
The Maple Leafs failed to respond to frustrated coach Ron Wilson, who blasted his players for their effort following a 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The return of Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf didn’t have much impact, but the defenseman forced a turnover and earned an assist on Grabovski’s goal.
Even though Toronto fell behind again, the Maple Leaf had plenty of quality scoring chances. Colby Armstrong was denied on a point-blank opportunity, Francois Beauchemin failed to lift the puck into the empty net from the edge of the crease, and Kris Versteeg rang a shot off the post on a 2-on-1 break early in the second period.
By then, the Flyers led 2-0.
Leino opened the scoring just seconds into a power play at 11:13 of the first period, beating Jean-Sebastien Giguere through the legs. Pronger’s scored with a point shot through traffic a little over a minute later.
More boos from the home crowd—a familiar refrain in recent weeks—started when Briere got his first of the night, taking a shot off the end boards and sliding the puck it into an empty net at 12:18 of the second.
Grabovski briefly restored some hope by finishing a nice tic-tac-toe passing sequence at 16:14, but Briere’s goal 1:03 later restored Philadelphia’s three-goal advantage.
A broken pane of glass forced a delay with less than 5 minutes left, and many fans headed to the exits early. Those who remained booed the Maple Leafs off the ice.
Notes: Wayne Gretzky was in attendance with his father. … Mike Komisarek and Jay Rosehill sat out for the Maple Leafs because of undisclosed upper body injuries. … Giguere made his second start in 11 games.
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