PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Vinny Lecavalier, Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds scored goals, leading the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.
Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk scored 4 seconds into the second, matching an NHL record for fastest goal from the start of the period. But the Maple Leafs’ skid reached seven games.
Lecavalier was dropped from a spot on the wing on the second line to his more natural center on the fourth line. But he also had the spot on the top power-play unit and scored in the first with Philadelphia holding a two-man advantage.
Toronto coach Randy Carlyle might have to learn how to bob and weave. Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe, a huge fan, playfully threatened on Twitter to knock out Carlyle with a loss. Bowe tweeted, “One punch between the eyes.” He also predicted Toronto would win 3-2.
Steve Mason had 32 saves to wipe out that pick.
The Flyers rebounded after a two-game losing streak muddled their potential playoff seeding as the season winds down.
With two games against Boston and another against St. Louis over the next five games, the Flyers need all the points they can get to stay in contention.
Giroux, fourth in the NHL scoring race, gave the Flyers a 3-1 cushion when he fired a slapper from the circle over Jonathan Bernier’s right shoulder for his 25th goal.
The Flyers needed that insurance when Dave Bolland made it 3-2 not even 2 minutes later.
Simmonds sealed the win with his 25th goal scored off a Toronto turnover.
The Flyers got an early boost from Lecavalier after coach Craig Berube decided to shake up the lines. Lecavalier, slumping in the first season of a four-year deal, scored his 16th goal of the season with the Flyers holding the 5-on-3 advantage.
Toronto’s Van Riemsdyk tied the game in record-tying time to open the second. His slapper just 4 seconds into the period tied the mark set by Montreal’s Claude Provost on Nov 9, 1957, and Chicago’s Denis Savard on Jan 12, 1986.
The former Flyer was booed in pregame introductions and they got even louder after his 29th goal.
The Flyers’ top line of Giroux, Hartnell and Jakub Voracek was the only one Berube left untouched.
Hartnell snapped a 1-all tie midway through the second with a backhanded tip off Kimmo Timonen’s shot for his 20th goal.
“I think the goalie was screened a little bit and the puck was able to slide past him,” Hartnell said.
Bowe was seemingly fed up with Toronto’s seven-game losing streak when he took a jab on Thursday at Carlyle.
“If the @MapleLeafs lose tomorrow im going to knock out Randy Carlyle. One punch between the eyes #TMLtalk #Leafs #LeafsNation #BoweLeafsBowe,” he tweeted.
Bowe instantly tweeted after the final horn, “See you in the parking lot Randy …”
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