With 8:21 remaining, the game appeared well in hand for the Toronto Maple Leafs. They had overcome a sleepy start and opened up a 4-1 lead on the Flyers.
For a team that is where the Flyers are, obtaining small victories and playing to the end of games is something to hang your hat on, as John Tortorella has focused throughout the season. The Flyers quickly turned things around and made the game competitive with two goals in 1:23.
The late push was frantic, but fell short, as the Flyers suffered a 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs on Thursday afternoon.
The Flyers managed just one shot on goal for the first 14 minutes of the game, but it found the net. On a power play, Tony DeAngelo fired a one-timer from the point that beat Ilya Samsonov to make it 1-0 at 4:17.
Shots were limited in the period until a late Toronto power play. Through 20 minutes, the Leafs had an 11-3 lead in shots.
Both teams had power play time in the second period, but the Leafs commanded possession and continued to pile up shot attempts. Late in the period, they got another power play and seconds after it expired, finally broke through.
Calle Jarnkrok deflected a Mitch Marner pass for the equalizer at 16:50, making it a 1-1 game.
On another power play in the final minute of the period, the Leafs finally capitalized. Marner fired a shot through traffic that Carter Hart got a piece of, but couldn’t keep out of the net to make it 2-1 at 19:23.
Through two periods, shots were 26-8 Toronto.
The Leafs kept the pressure on to start the third and turned it into a quick goal. Just 33 seconds into the period, some quick passing allowed Auston Matthews to find Michael Bunting alone in the slot for the goal, making it a 3-1 game.
The scoring came rapid-fire in the middle of the period. After the Flyers failed to take advantage of a 5-on-3 for 61 seconds, the Leafs came back and appeared to put the game on ice. William Nylander scored with a nice move from the slot after taking a centering feed from Mark Giordano to make it 4-1 with 8:21 to play.
But the Flyers had a quick response. First, Morgan Frost scored off the rush off a feed from DeAngelo just 22 seconds after the Nylander goal to make it 4-2. Just 1:23 later, Joel Farabee snapped an 11-game goal-less drought to make it a one-goal game with 6:36 remaining.
The Flyers got another chance late in the game, getting a power play with 1:10 remaining. It was quickly erased by a roughing penalty called on Farabee just seconds later.
The Leafs were able to hold on from there for the win. Samsonov finished with 16 saves on 19 shots in the win. Hart made 30 saves on 34 shots in the loss.
Konecny and DeAngelo each had two points for the Flyers. Nylander had three points and Marner had two for the Leafs
The Flyers have one more game before the holiday break, heading to face the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night at 7 p.m.