Philadelphia at Toronto

Burke era in Toronto off to winning start; Maple Leafs beat Flyers wire reports

TORONTO -- Whatever message new general manager Brian Burke gave to the Toronto Maple Leafs, it surely got through.

One of Burke's first acts as team president and GM was to address the players before Saturday night's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The theme of his message was that everyone should relax.

The Maple Leafs did and responded with one of their strongest efforts of the season, topping the Flyers 4-2.

Vesa Toskala made 28 saves, and Dominic Moore and Nik Antropov each had a goal and an assist to help Toronto win for the first time in six games.

"I think Brian did a good job to relax them from -- I hate to be blunt -- but the dumb questions you guys have been asking our players, that they're all going to be traded," coach Ron Wilson said. "Brian assured them that wasn't going to happen, and that's the best thing that he could have done."

The Maple Leafs looked strong from the opening whistle, showing a willingness to take the body and compete against one of the NHL's hottest teams. Philadelphia took its first regulation loss in three weeks.

Even some players acknowledged that Burke's arrival might have made a difference.

"As players, there's always going to be stuff that's going on that's going to distract you," Moore said. "If it's not one thing, it's another. That's the challenge that everybody faces, to play a focused game and not worry about surrounding things that are out of their control

"I think it's good that he's here and everybody can continue along the path that we're on."

Lee Stempniak and Pavel Kubina also had goals for Toronto (8-9-6). Mike Richards scored both for the Flyers (11-7-5). Philadelphia had won six straight before falling in overtime at home to Carolina on Friday.

Toskala helped make the difference. He stood tall during a couple of power plays in the third period, getting his glove on a fantastic chance by Simon Gagne from in close.

"The puck seems to hit me now and that's a nice feeling," Toskala said. "As a team, we played hard. It was really important to get a win now because we've had a losing streak going."

The Flyers lamented missed opportunities.

"I thought we hung in there," coach John Stevens said. "I thought we played hard and with a lot of energy and I thought we created enough chances to win. We just didn't find the net."

Playing for the second time in as many days, they also found a tough opponent. Clearly, a few of the Leafs are aware that Burke prefers a physical style of hockey.

Andre Deveaux and Jamal Mayers each engaged in fights during the first period, something Burke must have enjoyed as he watched from the press box.

"Our team plays a North American game, we're throwbacks," he said before the game. "We don't apologize for that. It's black and blue hockey."

The Leafs scored first when Stempniak netted his first goal since being acquired. He charged to the net, and Moore's hit his left skate and went in at 14:45 of the first period.

That provided for a player who arrived earlier this week in a trade with St. Louis.

"The toughest thing coming to a new team is you want to fit in with the guys and you want to contribute," Stempniak said. "It was great to score the first goal, especially in a win. It's definitely exciting."

The Maple Leafs were quick to note that it was just one win.

"Rebuilding won't be easy," Burke said. "When you change the general manager, you don't change the team. It will take some time and some effort. Changing the general manager doesn't change the roster."

"He can't turn water into wine any more than I can," Wilson said. "It's going to take some time to get everything into place."


  • Referee Dan Marouelli worked his 1,500th career game.
  • Deveaux appeared in his second career NHL game for the Leafs. He's the first player born in the Bahamas to play in the league.
  • Gagne has points in 19 of 22 games.
  • Burke was a member of the Flyers organization during his playing days and won the Calder Cup in 1978 with Philadelphia's farm team in Maine.
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It looks like Andre Deveaux is trying to impress new boss Brian Burke with this fight. (Getty Images)
It looks like Andre Deveaux is trying to impress new boss Brian Burke with this fight. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Philadelphia (11-7-5)1102
Toronto  (8-9-6) «1214
Three Stars
V. Toskala

Saves: 28
Save Pct.: .933
D. Moore

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Richards

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
14:45Lee Stempniak (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Moore
15:20Mike Richards (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Asham, Alberts
02:55Power Play - Nik Antropov (9), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.
08:43Dominic Moore (5), Backhand Shot. Assist: Antropov, Ponikarovsky
17:23Short - Mike Richards (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Gagne, Vaananen
02:16Pavel Kubina (5), Slap Shot, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
14:48Gratton, 5 min, Fighting
14:48Deveaux, 5 min, Fighting
16:17Grabovski, 2 min, Interference
18:44Mayers, 5 min, Fighting
18:44Asham, 5 min, Fighting
02:36Alberts, 2 min, Interference
03:25Coburn, 2 min, High-Sticking
04:17Carter, 2 min, Hooking
06:36Moore, 2 min, High-Sticking
17:03Alberts, 2 min, Tripping
05:53Moore, 2 min, Holding
11:49Mitchell, 2 min, High-Sticking
Shots On Goal
Martin Biron58:42234
Vesa Toskala59:54282
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 19387
Referees - Dan Marouelli, Wes McCauley
Linesmen - Mark Pare, Jay Sharrers
Other Games
Min 6 Final
Nash 2
SJ 3 Final
Pho 2
Ott 2 Final
Chi 2 Final
LA 5
NJ 1 Final
Pitt 4
Van 1 Final
Cal 3
TB 3 Final
Colo 4
Det 1 Final
Bos 4
Edm 4 Final
StL 2
Buf 2 Final
Mon 3
Wash 0 Final
Colu 3