|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET20:00 BRT, March 27, 2019
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Attendance: 19,205
Flyers' hopes faint as Tavares, Leafs visit
Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers
- The Maple Leafs beat the Panthers, 7-5, at home on Monday, marking the 27th time this season that Toronto has scored at least five goals in a game, second in the NHL to Tampa Bay (34). It's the most for the Maple Leafs since scoring 5+ goals in a franchise-record 35 games in 1989-90.
- Morgan Rielly had a pair of assists Monday, joining Brent Burns and Mark Giordano as the only defensemen this season with 70 points. Rielly joins Ian Turnbull (1976-77) and Borje Salming (four times) as the only Leafs defensemen ever to eclipse 70 points in a season.
- The Leafs have scored at least six goals in each of their two games against the Flyers this season and won both. However, those were both in Toronto. The Maple Leafs have lost their last three trips to Philadelphia while getting held to a combined five goals.
- By losing five of their last seven games, the Flyers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the fourth time in seven seasons -- a span during which they have not won a postseason series. Prior to this drought, Philadelphia had never gone more than five straight seasons without winning a playoff series.
- Jakub Voracek scored his 20th goal of the season in Sunday's loss to the Capitals after finishing with 20 goals in each of the past two seasons. If he doesn't score in Philadelphia's final six games, he'll become the first player in NHL history to finish with exactly 20 goals in three consecutive seasons
- The Flyers have the league's best penalty kill this month at 29-for-31 (93.5 percent). Though the first five months of the season, Philadelphia had the worst penalty kill among all Eastern Conference teams at 77.1 percent.
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The Philadelphia Flyers will attempt to keep their faint playoff hopes alive when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
The Flyers (36-32-8, 80 points), who have dropped two in a row, entered Tuesday trailing the Montreal Canadiens by eight points for the final wild-card playoff spot in the East, with both teams down to six games.
Following a 3-1 road loss to the Washington Capitals on Sunday, the frustration was evident in the Flyers' locker room.
"I felt like in that push we had, we had a good push, but unfortunately, every time we got close to three points, five points, and then we played those big teams in front of us, those four-point games, we choked," forward Jakub Voracek told reporters. "I don't want to take anything out of this season, to be honest. We have to have a good look in the mirror."
Philadelphia crept within five points of a playoff berth, but consecutive losses to the New York Islanders at home and then at Washington have really hurt its chances.
The Flyers rallied for a playoff berth last season before falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
"We battled hard to get back in the standings and give ourselves a chance to make the playoffs," Flyers captain Claude Giroux told reporters. "It's going to be real tough to get in. Two weeks ago, I thought we had confidence in our group. We liked the way we were playing. And the last two weeks, it hasn't gone our way."
The Flyers are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games.
In addition, they've lost three straight home games to the Islanders, Canadiens and Capitals.
The Maple Leafs received a stellar performance from John Tavares in their last game, with a four-goal effort in a 7-5 victory at Florida on Monday.
It was the first four-goal game of Tavares' career.
He now has 45 goals in his first season with Toronto, after signing a seven-year, $77 million free agent contract in July.
"Nice to get rewarded like that," Tavares told reporters of the win. "It's a good feeling. I still feel like we can be a little better with some of the opportunities we gave up and eventually went in our net."
Tavares has eclipsed his previous career-best for goals in a season by seven already. He had never scored more than 38. He also has tied his career high in points (86).
"Just trying to play my game," Tavares told reporters. "With the type of players I'm playing with and the type of team we have, they make so many plays. You just try to make yourself available."
The Maple Leafs have had trouble in their own zone throughout the season, and it was evident again as they allowed the Panthers to score five goals.
Toronto goaltender Frederik Andersen was shaky even though he stopped 31 shots.
"The puck has got to stay out of your net," Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock told reporters. "We've got to help Freddie out."
Tavares' fourth goal early in the third period proved to be the winner. His 45 tallies are the most by a Toronto player since Dave Andreychuk had 53 in the 1993-94 season.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 26, 2019