Flyers Explode, Chase Bernier in 7-4 Demolition


What appeared to be an ugly matchup for the Flyers in Toronto on Saturday night turned out to be anything but. The Air Canada Centre saw the Flyers explode with a 7-4 rout of the Maple Leafs. Philadelphia’s convincing victory may only be their fourth of the season on the road, but it was exactly what Craig Berube’s team needed as they leave the first of an eight-game road trip. So how did they do it?

It’s Raining Goals

If you like scoring, the first period alone didn’t disappoint. The Flyers and Leafs were physical throughout the first, and the goal scoring followed suit. In their first meeting of the season, the two teams combined for six first period goals and 33 hits.

The Leafs opened the scoring with a pair of goals from ex-Flyers that were separated by less than two minues. Joffrey Lupul beat Ray Emery for his eighth of the season before James van Riemsdyk padded the lead 28 seconds into the game’s first power play.

Philadelphia answered with goals from R.J. Umberger – his third goal of the season on his third shot of the period – and Sean Couturier. The scoring explosion wasn’t over yet, though, swinging the pendulum back in Toronto’s favor just 25 seconds later. But 11 seconds after David Clarkson reasserted Toronto’s lead with a wrist shot, Claude Giroux knotted it back up to three a piece.

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Emery and the Flyers were bailed out by the sound of the horn as the opening period expired. While on another power play, van Riemsdyk nearly scored his second of the period on the man advantage. But the squads would retreat to their dressing rooms to regroup after it was obvious the puck had cleared Emery’s crease well after time had run out.

Grossmann Sets a Career-High

The Flyers exuded pure dominance in the second period, with Nicklas Grossmann’s bank shot goal to show as proof. Grossmann’s trick shot was his third on the campaign, which is a career-high for the light scoring veteran defenseman.

Giroux would add a Michael Jordan-like goal (if you could imagine him playing hockey) with an angled goal, giving the captain his second of the night, and his 21st point in as many career games against the Leafs.

The second period’s only two goals were just a part of 17 shots on net the Flyers would ambush Jonathan Bernier with in the second, giving the Flyers 34 shots before the third period even started.

End Zone Celebrations

Bernier wouldn’t last to see the game end – from the ice anyway. Scott Laughton snapped a bullet past Bernier for his second goal in three games, blowing the game wide open in the process. Michael Raffl would add the extra point before Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle finally yanked his starter in lieu of James Reimer.

Peter Holland rewarded his fantasy hockey owners with a mop up time goal, as the Flyers would hold on to start the long road trip with an impressive victory.


  • Saturday’s win for the Flyers snapped Toronto’s mark of 14-0-0 after scoring the game’s first goal. Apparently, the Flyers weren’t impressed since they decided to erase a two-goal deficit instead of just one.
  • With four points a piece, Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux collectively passed Tyler Seguin for first and second place among the league’s top point scorers. The top line tandem were two of six Flyers to record four or more shots on goal, with Voracek getting credit for six of his own. What a hog.
  • After a brief two-game break from the scoresheet, Sean Couturier added a goal and an assist to give the former first-round pick nine points in as many games. It was Couturier’s fourth multi-point game of the season, and his second in his last five games.
  • In 12:32 of ice time, Vinny Lecavalier skated in another fine effort, despite failing to get his name in the newspaper. The 16-year-veteran seems to be a bit snake bitten, as he was denied on multiple occasions – one of them by the post. Lecavalier has shown terrific chemistry with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Zac Rinaldo since coming back from a seven-game scratch break.
  • Speaking of Rinaldo, the fourth line winger left Saturday’s game in the second period with an apparent upper-body injury. If he is unable to rejoin his linemates in Winnipeg, expect to see Chris VandeVelde back in the lineup in Winnipeg.
  • The next time Jonathan Bernier sees the Flyers will be a day too soon. The 26-year-old netminder drops to 2-3-0 all-time against the Flyers, and has now given up 14 goals in his last three meetings with Philadelphia.
  • Ray Emery earned his sixth win of the season, but was otherwise not sharp. Emery’s 21 saves on 25 shots suggests we’ll see 33-year-old Rob Zepp make his NHL debut tomorrow night in Winnipeg.

By all indications, though, Saturday’s performance against the Leafs was a statement. What it says, I don’t know. But it’s a good vibe nonetheless.