Flyers fall flat in 5-2 loss to Leafs
TORONTO - The Flyers have gone from road warriors to roadkill.
They scored in the opening minute Monday night, lost their momentum with a series of senseless penalties, and watched Toronto score three goals early in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory at the Air Canada Centre.
Inexplicably, the Flyers are 1-6 on the road. A year ago, no NHL team had more road wins than the Flyers.
"They were hungrier, and when that happens you're usually first to the puck," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said of the Maple Leafs. "They were able to create turnovers in the second period - and we gave them those turnovers. Sometimes you have to play a simple game, and we didn't do that."
The Flyers' latest defeat was against a team that used three rookie defensemen, had a 1-4 home record, and lost its starting goalie, James Reimer, to an injury early in the second period.
"I still think it comes down to individual preparation," said Timonen, referring to the road problems. "It doesn't matter if you're home or away, you have to play with consistency. And when you're on the road, you have to prepare yourself even more because there's no fans behind you and no one cheering your name. And that's a learning process to me.
"It's time to learn right now."
The Maple Leafs scored three goals in the first 6 minutes, 15 seconds of the second period, chasing goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and sending the Flyers to their first regulation loss in the last five games.
This is not how the Flyers envisioned starting a season-high six-game road trip.
James van Riemsdyk, playing his first game against the Flyers since they traded him to Toronto for Luke Schenn last summer, scored his eighth goal of the season, increasing the lead to 5-1 early in the final period. Van Riemsdyk sped around Schenn and scored on a clever backhander.
The Flyers, coming off a 3-0-1 homestand, played without center Sean Couturier, who was sidelined with the flu and is not expected to make the trip to Winnipeg for Tuesday's game.
Thirty-eight seconds into the game, Wayne Simmonds scored on a rebound of Schenn's point drive, giving the Flyers the lead.
Toronto tied it when defenseman Dion Phaneuf's long blast got past Bryzgalov, who was screened by the Leafs' Nikolai Kulemin with 5:11 remaining in the first period.
Toronto, which won its fourth straight, got second-period goals from Colton Orr (a rebound after Tom Sestito earlier failed to clear the puck), Matt Frattin (tip-in), and Clarke MacArthur (wide open in the slot).
The Flyers were on their heels for most of the second period, and their defense gave Bryzgalov little support as their five-game winning streak in Toronto came to an end.
After MacArthur's goal, Bryzgalov went to the bench - he appeared to be joking with an elderly man who sat in the stands, to the goalie's right - and was replaced by Brian Boucher with 13:45 to go in the second period.
The Flyers' power play has clicked at 25 percent at the Wells Fargo Center, and at just 11.4 percent on the road.
Contact Sam Carchidi at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.