Clarke MacArthur's goal forced the Flyers to pull Ilya Bryzgalov from his last start against the Maple Leafs. The Flyers lost to the Leafs two weeks ago on Feb. 11, 5-2.
It was just two weeks ago that the Flyers played in Toronto and were shelled by the Maple Leafs. It is the only game on the season that goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who has started 18 of 20 games, got an early exit.
Bryz was pulled after the fourth Toronto goal in a 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs that featured a goal in the first minute by Wayne Simmonds and a goal in the final minute by Tye McGinn.
But the Flyers are a different team, even since then. After early season struggles and continuing injuries, the Flyers have forced their way into a tie for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
That is thanks due in large part to a strong week last week. The Flyers opened things with a 7-0 win last Monday against the Islanders. They followed that on Wednesday with a thrilling 6-5 win over the rival Penguins. Despite a 5-2 hiccup against the Florida Panthers on Thursday, they rebounded from a 3-1 deficit on Saturday against the Jets to escape with a 5-3 win.
Leading the charge have been several forwards. Jake Voracek remains one of the hottest players on the ice with points in all four games last week, 11 in total. Simmonds posted another Gordie Howe hat trick on Saturday and scored the game-winning goal. He has seven points in his last four games. And Brayden Schenn started to find the scorer's touch on Saturday, scoring a pair of goals and assisting on Simmonds' game-winner.
Look for Ilya Bryzgalov to go again in this one. He'll be looking for a better performance after allowing four goals to Toronto two weeks earlier.
The Leafs enter the game holding seventh in the standings. They are certainly a team to watch, going 7-3 in their last 10 games and holding a 7-4-0 record on the road.
One of their top players has been former Flyer James van Riemsdyk. Led on defense by captain Dion Phaneuf, as well as other strong forwards like Mikhail Grabovski, Phil Kessel, Clarke MacArthur and David Steckel, the Leafs have plenty of talent.
In goal, look for Ben Scrivens to get the start. He entered in relief for James Reimer, who was injured against the Flyers two weeks ago, and stopped 32 of 33 shots fired by the Flyers.
One of the encouraging parts of the Flyers' 5-2 loss to Toronto was the number of shots they took. The Flyers nearly doubled the Leafs shot total, firing at will, 46-24. However, the number of goals on the board is what counts, and on that night, Bryzgalov was not sharp.
But the Flyers have some talent back. Scott Hartnell will play in his second game back from injury and Sean Couturier, who missed the Flyers first game against the Leafs due to the flu, will also be in the lineup.
That should help the Flyers, but the real focus is to keep the intensity level high against a potential playoff team and build on a strong week. The Flyers need to grab some points, especially while at home. After starting that off strong as well by nabbing two points on Saturday, they can keep that going with a similar style game against the Leafs tonight.