PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The excitement James van Riemsdyk felt about playing his first game in Philadelphia since a trade to Toronto quickly turned to nerves when the Maple Leafs winger spent four minutes in the penalty box in the third period.
But the Maple Leafs survived van Riemdsyk's late double minor and picked up goals from Phil Kessel, Nikolai Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski and Jay McClement to beat the Flyers 4-2 on Monday night.
Van Riemsdyk, who was drafted with the second overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Flyers and played three seasons with them before being traded in June, was held scoreless in his return to Philadelphia but was happy to get out of town with the win.
"It was one of those cases where the boys did great on the penalty kill," said van Riemsdyk, who leads Toronto with 11 goals. "That's a first for me: two penalties on one shift. Hopefully, the last. It was an uneasy feeling for me, and the team really bailed me out."
Scott Hartnell, playing his second game since fracturing his foot Jan. 22, scored his first goal of the season for the Flyers. And Jakub Voracek, who brought a five-game scoring streak into the game, assisted on Hartnell's goal and then scored one of his own on the power play to cut Toronto's lead to 3-2 late in the third period.
But Toronto goaltender Ben Scrivens, who finished with 23 saves, was at his best in the final few minutes to secure the victory.
"We did a really good job of clearing pucks and clearing rebounds in the third," Scrivens said. "The (Flyers) really got into it in the third, and made it close and then their building got into it. We found a way to hang on and we made some smart plays."
After Toronto opened a 2-0 lead, Hartnell, who enjoyed a breakout season last year with a career-high 37 goals, got the Flyers on the board with 2 minutes left in the second period off an excellent crossing pass from Voracek.
Despite getting his first goal of the season, however, Hartnell said he felt "a little worse" physically than he did in the last game and that he "won't be able to sleep much tonight" because of the loss. The most frustrating part, he noted, was that the defeat came after such a strong surge to close the contest.
"When we play like we did in the last 10 minutes, I don't think there's a team in the league that can play with us," Hartnell said. "We're skating, we're hitting, we're beating them to pucks, we're winning battles. And that's something in the first 50 minutes we never did."