Warriors on the road to start the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs finally transferred some of that success to home ice.
Now they will have to wait and see at what cost.
Colton Orr and Matt Frattin scored goals 28 seconds apart and Ben Scrivens made 32 saves in relief of injured starting goalie James Reimer on Monday as the Leafs defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 for just their second victory in six outings at Air Canada Centre.
Reimer had to be helped off the ice early in the second period with what appeared to be a left leg injury, pressing Scrivens into action. Leafs coach Randy Carlyle says Reimer will be re-evaluated on Tuesday, but added he doesn't expect him to miss much action.
"Probably a good thing I'm not an overly emotional guy. I was pretty even keel," Scrivens said. "My first thoughts were concern for James. He's a friend and a teammate and you never want to see anyone get hurt so I was hoping he was going to hop right back up.
"Once it was obvious that wasn't going to happen you've just got to get your mind going and just try to get yourself ready to make that first save."
Scrivens made that save — and 19 more in the second alone — as Toronto weathered a five-minute Flyers power play while up 4-1 after Leafs defenceman Korbinian Holzer was kicked out of the game for boarding. The crowd at ACC, which has been criticized for its lack of emotion early in the season, saluted the penalty killers and then the entire team at the end of the period with back-to-back standing ovations.
"It's always tougher coming in cold ... but that's the nature of the position — being a backup, that's what you've got to be ready for," Scrivens said. "You've just got to try to get out that and give the team the best chance to win and I was fortunate the guys helped me do that."
'It's always tougher coming in cold ... but that's the nature of the position — being a backup, that's what you've got to be ready for. You've just got to try to get out that and give the team the best chance to win and I was fortunate the guys helped me do that.' —Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens
Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, who started the season with Scrivens as his No. 1 goalie, praised his backup's play.
"[Scrivens] went in and stood tall for us and he was equal to the task and we were able to find ways to put pucks in the back of the net," Carlyle said. "I think it was three consecutive shifts we held them in their zone and made some plays and played with some fire."
Dion Phaneuf, Clarke MacArthur and James van Riemsdyk, against his former team, had the other goals for Toronto (8-5-0).
Tied 1-1 after the first, the Leafs took control early in the second thanks to a spark from their fourth line as the bruising Orr shovelled home his first of the campaign at 2:05.
"It feels good for us to contribute and gives us some confidence out there when we can contribute in other ways than just forechecking and fighting and stuff like that," Orr said. "We're just playing a great team game and it was a lot of fun tonight in our building."
Added Carlyle: "It makes everybody feel good and feel good for those guys because they don't get an opportunity in a lot of situations to provide a lot of offence over the year. We just think they're deserving of more minutes and we even tried them on the power play, and that's a reward."
Frattin then added his seventh of the season in just 10 games since being called up from the AHL, deflecting a Cody Franson shot home just 28 seconds later. Franson picked up assists on both goals.
'Shot ourselves in the foot'
Wayne Simmonds and Tye McGinn scored for Philadelphia (5-7-1). Ilya Bryzgalov made 10 saves on 14 shots before being replaced by Brian Boucher after MacArthur's goal at 6:15 of the second. Boucher finished with nine stops the rest of the way.
"We sort of shot ourselves in the foot and it sort of unravelled in the next four minutes and we couldn't get it back on track," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "There were a lot of good things that happened outside those six minutes. You can't remove that. Those six minutes were tough. The start of the second period was important."
Van Riemsdyk put the game out of reach at 5-1 with his team-leading eighth of the season on a shot that squeaked past Boucher just 71 seconds into the third. McGinn then scored a consolation goal for Philadelphia with 32 seconds left in regulation.
Coming off a perfect 3-0-0 road trip, which included a resounding 6-0 victory in Montreal on Saturday night, the Leafs came out with a first shift Monday that left much to be desired. Philadelphia worked the puck into the Toronto end and kept it there until Simmonds banged the rebound of a Luke Schenn shot home just 38 seconds in.
Philadelphia carried the play against the sluggish Leafs for much of the rest of the first until Mikhail Grabovski, who was cleared earlier in the day of any wrongdoing in an alleged biting incident against Montreal on Saturday, hit both posts behind Bryzgalov only to see the puck stay out.
That chance seemed to spark the Leafs and Phaneuf tied the game at 14:49 with a one-timer off a feed from Leo Komarov that beat a screened Bryzgalov.
"We didn't start that well. When you get scored on the first shift of the hockey game ... but I think we were fortunate to get out of the first period tied 1-1 and that's what our message was to our players," Carlyle said. "The expectations for our group are to play a lot higher level than what we did."