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Flyers snap six-game losing streak with 4-1 victory over Maple Leafs

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Flyers snap six-game losing streak with 4-1 victory over Maple Leafs

The Canadian Press
By:

PHILADELPHIA - All the Philadelphia Flyers needed was a strong finish.

Joffrey Lupul scored two goals and Marty Biron made 34 saves for the Flyers, who snapped a season-high, six-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night. "When we got the lead we didn't sit back at all, we went out there and finished," Lupul said. "We've had some leads, especially at home, and we've let teams back in the game. Tonight, even when they made it 2-1 we still played as a confident team."

Jeff Carter and Danny Briere also scored, and Randy Jones had two assists as the Flyers won for only the second time in 11 home games after opening the season 6-0 in Philadelphia.

"After a while you forget what it is to win," Briere said. "It tastes a lot better than losing, the way we were lately, especially the way we were finding ways to lose. That was frustrating."

Mike Richards earned an assist on Lupul's second goal to stretch his point streak at home to 16 games, tying a team record set by Bobby Clarke in the 1975-76 season.

Biron said his teammates played their best defensive game of the season.

"We talked about our play in the defensive zone," the goalie said. "I think it was tremendous. It created offence for us. It was as well as we've played all year defensively."

Mats Sundin scored for the Maple Leafs, who dropped their second straight game and fifth in six. The Maple Leafs went 2-3-2 on their season-high, seven-game road trip. They return home to face the New York Rangers on Saturday night, playing their first game in Toronto since Dec. 10.

"We've played far better for the majority of the trip," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "We're just showing the result of not putting pucks in the net."

Andrew Raycroft, making his second start in two games in place of Vesa Toskala who is nursing a groin injury, stopped 30 shots.

Carter scored from the goal mouth with 35 seconds left in the first period after taking a pass from the left boards from Scott Hartnell, who picked up the puck deep in the Flyers zone and skated down the left side.

Lupul made it 2-0 on a power play at 17:23 of the second period. He got to a loose puck, after Danny Briere's centring pass deflected off Toronto centre Alex Steen, and swept it past Raycroft's glove side.

Sundin converted a one-timer from beyond the left circle with 26.4 seconds left in the period, but Briere restored Philadelphia's two-goal advantage by tipping in a shot by Jason Smith 3:05 into the third period.

Lupul scored again on a wrist shot from the left circle at 7:56.

Steen said that the Flyers won with an all-around effort.

"Tonight was a game where they had a goaltender who was playing well," Steen said. "They kept us to the outside. Aside from a few individual efforts, there was nothing to be had from the middle, and they did a good job of clearing the rebounds."

Notes: Maple Leafs defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo played his first game of the season after returning from a knee injury. ... Toronto's seven-game trip tied for the longest in club history. ... Jones returned after missing one game due to a sprained right knee. ... Toronto RW Wade Belak, C John Pohl, and D Andrew Wozniewski were healthy scratches as were Philadelphia D Rory Fitzpatrick, D Lasse Kukkonen, and C James Dowd. ... The Flyers snapped a six-game winless string against Toronto (0-5-1).

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Flyers snap six-game losing streak with 4-1 victory over Maple Leafs