PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jeff Carter scored three goals, Danny
Briere had a goal and three assists and the Philadelphia Flyers
beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 8-5, on Friday night.
Simon Gagne, Randy Jones, Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell also
had goals for the Flyers, who passed Carolina for fourth place
in the Eastern Conference. The top four teams get home-ice
advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Carter’s first career hat trick gave him 44 goals. Only
Washington’s Alex Ovechkin has more this season.
Luke Schenn, Boyd Devereaux and Mikhail Grabovski scored for the
Leafs in the last four minutes of the second period to cut a 6-0
deficit in half. Nikolai Kulemin and Jamal Mayers also had
goals for Toronto.
Five players scored in the first period as the Flyers made sure
they didn’t lose consecutive games to Toronto, which isn’t going
to the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The Leafs won the
first game of the home-and-home series, 3-2, Wednesday night.
The Flyers scored three times in a span of 4:38 to take a 3-0
lead. Jones got the first one on a backhander after the rebound
from Briere’s shot kicked right to him inside the left circle.
Briere helped set up the next goal by speeding up ice and
sending a perfect crossing pass to the streaking Arron Asham,
who quickly pushed the puck to Giroux. The rookie forward deked
goalie Martin Gerber with a nifty fake and scored his eighth
Gagne scored his 32nd goal on a power play, firing a slap shot
from the slot through a screen. That was it for Gerber. He was
replaced by Curtis Joseph after allowing three goals on nine
shots. Joseph wasn’t much better. He gave up two goals on five
shots and returned to the bench for the start of the second
Hartnell made it 4-0 with his 30th goal later in the first.
Carter scored on a breakaway 1:27 after that.
With the son of one of the notorious Hanson brothers from the
movie “Slap Shot” making his NHL debut, this briefly turned into
a boxing match. Two fights broke out in the final minute of the
first period, but the fisticuffs didn’t carry over.
Christian Hanson, the son of Dave from movie fame, played his
first game for the Leafs after signing a two-year deal on
Tuesday. His father sat in the stands and drew loud applause
when he was introduced in the third period.
Schenn’s wrist shot from just inside the blue line started
Toronto’s comeback attempt. Devereaux scored on a one-timer 97
seconds later. Grabovski got a long rebound and slapped it past
Martin Biron to cut the deficit in half.
But Carter scored early in the third and the Leafs couldn’t get
within two goals.