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Leafs bounce back, top Flyers

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Toronto Maple Leafs wiped away the memory of a last-minute loss by earning a tough road win.

Phil Kessel, Nikolai Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski and Jay McClement scored to lead Toronto to a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Ben Scrivens made 23 saves for the Leafs, who've won eight of 11. They were coming off a 3-2 defeat at Ottawa on Saturday in which the winning goal was scored with 24 seconds remaining.

"It's always tough to win in the NHL. It's especially tough to win on the road," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "We talked about the scar from the other night. We wanted to make sure that we could flush that with our effort. You have to give our guys credit. They battled and went toe-to-toe with a pretty good hockey team over there."

Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek had Philadelphia's goals. The Flyers (9-11-1) failed in their fifth try to even their total of wins and regulation losses.

"It's been a tough year for us," Philadelphia goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said. "We need to play every game like it's our last chance to make the playoffs or else we'll be watching the playoffs on the TV."

James van Riemsdyk didn't have a point in his first game in Philadelphia since he was traded to the Maple Leafs for Luke Schenn, but his team left with the win.

Just 24 seconds into a four-minute power play because of two penalties on van Riemsdyk, Voracek ripped a slap shot from inside the left circle between teammate Wayne Simmonds' legs and through the five-hole to get the Flyers within 3-2 with 8:18 left in the game.

However, the Leafs (12-8-0) killed off the second part of van Riemsdyk's penalty and held off Philadelphia's mad rush at the end. McClement scored into an empty net with 13 seconds remaining.

The Flyers are 12-5 in their last 17 games against Toronto, dating back to January 2009.

"We need to learn to play 60 minutes a game, and that hurt us again tonight," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "It's the same story. We need to play as a team and get four lines rolling and play a good 60."

Shortly after Bryzgalov made an outstanding save on Kessel's one-timer to keep Toronto's lead at 2-1, the Leafs took a two-goal advantage on Grabovski's third goal in four games. A rebound from Clarke MacArthur's shot bounced right out to Grabovski, who flipped a backhander into a wide-open net.

"The scoring seems to have lightened him up," Carlyle said of Grabovski. "He skated much better. You could notice he was putting more pressure on the puck in some of the situations where he would be the first one down the ice. That's what we have to see, that urgency, that skating.

"He is really tracking the puck, and he's a quick player."

Kessel gave the Leafs a 1-0 lead with 2:40 left in the first period. He fired a sharp-angle shot from near the right face-off circle past Bryzgalov, who has started 19 of 21 games.

The Leafs caught the Flyers in a shift change and went up 2-0 in the second on Kulemin's first goal in 13 games. Kulemin sped in from the blue line, beat two Flyers to the puck and scored on a backhander.

Hartnell, just back from missing a month with a foot injury, scored his first goal to get the Flyers within 2-1 less than three minutes later. Giroux and Voracek set it up with perfect passes during a 3-on-2 break. Giroux skated down the center and fed Voracek, who made a cross-ice pass to the on-rushing Hartnell, who lifted the puck over Scrivens' shoulder.

Voracek has 14 points during a six-game scoring streak.

The Flyers' best chance in the first period came when Simmonds left the penalty box, took a long pass from Sean Couturier and broke in alone against Scrivens, who stoned his backhanded attempt.

"As soon as you make a save like that, you put it behind you because you can't really rest on it now and the puck is coming your way right after," Scrivens said. "It always feels good to make it easier for your team."

Toronto tough guy Mike Brown squared off against Tye McGinn in a big-time battle in the first. They hammered each other with several punches before McGinn went down hard, leaving the ice with a bloody face and a torn jersey.

"I think Mike Brown set the tone for us that we weren't going to be pushed around," Carlyle said. "It doesn't matter what building we go in to, we have enough people that we feel comfortable that we can go in to any building and compete. I'm not saying we are going to win every game, but we are going to compete."

NOTES: The Flyers traded minor league right winger Mike Testwuide to Calgary for 23-year-old center Mitch Wahl. ... Van Riemsdyk scored a goal in Toronto's 5-2 home win on Feb. 11 in his first game against the team that chose him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NHL entry draft. ... Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky was in the crowd. ... Scrivens made his seventh straight start in place of injured goalie James Reimer. ... Flyers defenseman Bruno Gervais played in his 400th NHL game. ... Injured Flyers forward Jody Shelley will have hip surgery Wednesday. ... The Leafs have scored first 11 times. ... Carl Gunnarsson's assist on Kessel's goal was his first point since Jan. 24.
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