The first period started off with the referees getting involved quickly. Brayden Schenn got whistled for a high sticking penalty just 21 seconds into the game on what appeared to be his way of defending himself from the oncoming hit behind the Maple Leafs goal. The Flyers killed the penalty and just over three minutes later, Brayden Schenn’s older brother Luke was also whistled for high sticking and the Flyers took to the power play. Almost right off the draw, Kimmo Timonen beat Leafs goaltender James Riemer over his right shoulder but hit the post and the puck stayed out of the net. It was that close to ending the Leafs “no power play goal” streak in 2012. With five and a half minutes to go in the first the Flyers got on the board as Scott Hartnell beat Riemer for his 26th goal of the year. Rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson got the assist after his shot hit Jaromir Jagr and redirected to Hartnell who put it through Riemer’s legs. Hartnell dropped his gloves with Dion Phaneuf after he scored and the two got five minutes for fighting. The Flyers would take a 1-0 lead to the locker room.
As stated earlier the loss snaps a 3 game losing streak for the Flyers who were 1-2-2 in their previous five games. The top line of Giroux (goal), Hartnell (goal and assist), and Jaromir Jagr (assist) combined for four points. The goals snapped six game goalless droughts for both Hartnell and Talbot. Hartnell extended his team lead in goals to 26. The Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 to maintain their four point lead in the division with two games in hand. The Flyers currently have the second most points in the Eastern Conference with 69 and are 3 points up on the New Jersey Devils in the division and conference.
The Flyers are back at it on Saturday at 1:00 pm at the Wells Fargo Center against the very same New York Rangers. Check back on Saturday morning for your Whiz Wit Game Preview.
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