Flyers Feverish Rally Falls Short As Leafs Hold On

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Scott Hartnell scored his first goal of the season in the Flyers' 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.

It was hardly the same game as two weeks ago, when the Flyers and Leafs last met, but the result was the same nonetheless.

A feverish rally by the Flyers fell short as a goal mid-way through the third for the Leafs proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 Flyers' loss.

The Leafs struck first in this one late in the first as Phil Kessel beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a low shot to the far post at 17:20.

It took until the 15:02 mark of the second for another goal to be scored. This time is was Nikolai Kulemin who beat Bryzgalov with a similar shot on a breakaway.

The Flyers answered this goal quickly, as Scott Hartnell buried his first goal of the season off a brilliant feed from Jake Voracek to cut the lead to one.

A shorthanded rush by Claude Giroux ended with his shot catching the iron. The Leafs charged back the other way and scored just after the penalty expired as Mikhail Grabovski buried a loose puck after two huge saves by Bryzgalov.

The Flyers got a huge chance midway through the third when former Flyer James van Riemsdyk took two penalties on the same play, resulting in a four-minute power play for the Flyers.

The Flyers wasted no time to start, scoring just 30 seconds into the first minor on a shot by Voracek that deflected off a Leafs' defender in front. But the rest of the power play time wasted away and the Flyers were forced to apply pressure late in the game. 

With Bryzgalov pulled, the Flyers came close to scoring twice but Ben Scrivens stood tall in net and with under 15 seconds to play, Erik Gustafsson failed to keep the puck in the zone as Jay McClement raced the other way and scored on the empty net to ice the game.

For most of the game, two lines barely showed up. It was a horrible game for Mike Knuble, Ruslan Fedotenko and Max Talbot. Defensively, the pairing of Gustafsson and Bruno Gervais was horrendous as well. Quite frankly, it was hard to find one of the six defensemen on the ice in orange who had a decent game. They were slow, ineffective and lazy. That combination doesn't win or get you to the playoffs.

You can hardly fault Bryzgalov, who stopped 18 of 21 shots by the Leafs. But Scrivens was solid once again, stopping 23 of 25 shots.

On the plus side, Voracek continued his hot streak with a goal and an assist, extending his points streak to six games. Voracek's linemates, Giroux and Hartnell also played with good energy, providing most of the Flyers' late scoring chances.

But as for the rest of the team, the over-achieving resurfaced. Passes were not crisp. When they were crisp, they passed one-too-many times. Once again, the offense was all about style, not efficiency.

So in their sixth bid to pull even at .500, the Flyers failed again. They will have to wait until the weekend for their chance to do that again. First things first, the Flyers need to get back in the win column. That chance comes when they host the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Kevin Durso is a contributor for Flyerdelphia. You can follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.