If I said in advance of yesterday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers that the Toronto Maple Leafs would squeak out a 4-3 win in overtime, you’d probably think to yourself, “Wow. Kessel, JVR and Bozak must’ve had a big game!”
On most nights, that would be the safe bet, but last night proved different.
In fact, Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak failed to crack the scorecard. Instead, the Leafs’ offence on the night came entirely from the second line down.
Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri put forth particularly strong efforts. Kadri recorded his 17th goal of the season while Lupul collected an assist on Kadri’s goal and netted the game’s winner.
Kadri now has 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists) in 61 games. Lupul sits just behind him with 38 points (19 goals, 19 assists) in 56 games.
Toronto also got some much appreciated offence from captain Dion Phaneuf (1 assist), Jay McClement (1 assist), Mason Raymond (1 goal), Carl Gunnarsson (1 assist), Troy Bodie (2 assists), Morgan Rielly (1 assist) and Jake Gardiner (1 goal).
The Leafs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but Philadelphia gradually clawed their way back into the game. They forced overtime after scoring their third goal of the game with less than three minutes in regulation time.
For the Flyers, captain Kimmo Timonen recorded two goals. Jakub Voracek kept pace with Timonen, dishing out helpers on both of his goals.
By securing the two points, Toronto has added a little extra cushion between itself and Philadelphia in the standings (three points now separate them). The Leafs have also climbed within 1 point of the Montreal Canadiens for third place in the Eastern Conference.
However, the real test for the Leafs happens next week when they head out west for a tough road trip through California. Let’s hope the top-line offence returns soon.
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