TORONTO — William Nylander set a new career high with his 32nd goal of the season and Jack Campbell made 36 saves for his 30th win of the campaign as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Tuesday .
Timothy Liljegren, Jason Spezza, David Kampf and Ilya Mikheyev, in an empty net, also scored for Toronto (51-20-6). Nylander and Mikheyev added an assist each.
James van Riemsdyk and Ronnie Attard replied for Philadelphia (23-43-11). Travis Konecny had two assists and Martin Jones stopped 24 shots.
Auston Matthews, who leads the NHL with 58 goals and is looking to become the first player since 2011-12 to reach 60 in a season, missed a second straight game for Toronto with an undisclosed injury.
Without his best player, and nearly cemented in the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division, Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe experimented with different line combinations, including winger Colin Blackwell getting the first six minutes at the alongside John Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev.
The Leafs opened the scoring at 1:35 of the second period. Alexander Kerfoot chased a loose puck into the Philadelphia area before eventually feeding it in front for Liljegren to shoot his fifth of the campaign upstairs on Jones.
Campbell made big saves on Konecny and Travis Sanheim minutes later but couldn’t keep van Riemsdyk – who played six seasons in Toronto from 2012-2018 – at bay as he won his 21st at 8:07 after a scrum.
Nylander then set a personal best for goals at 13:39 when he received a cross pass from Mitch Marner on the power play and fired his 32nd into the top corner. The winger has registered four goals and four assists in his last four games.
Toronto, which improved to 6-1-0 in seven games without Matthews this season, pushed its lead to 3-1 with 24.8 seconds left in the period thanks to a superb passing game between three veterans. Spezza received a pass from Wayne Simmonds, then played a quick round trip with Mark Giordano to bury his 11th.
Campbell had to be sharp on a Philadelphia power play early in the third before Kampf made it 4-1 with his 33rd at 10:11 on a deflection that also hit a Flyers skate in front and passed Jones.
Attard scored a consolation goal for the visitors – his second of the season – on a ball that went past Campbell’s left ear with 2:34 left in regulation. Toronto held on from there for its fourth straight win with Mikheyev sealing it with his 18th goal.
The Leafs, who set franchise records for wins (50) and points (106) in Sunday’s 4-2 home win over the New York Islanders, forced Jones into a good save on an opportunity of Simmonds first.
Toronto had two power play chances later in the period but couldn’t find the distance. The league’s top power play unit snapped an 0-for-17 streak on Sunday with a 1-for-3 performance.
Blackwell then shook Jones with a shorthanded shot on the Philadelphia goaltender’s mask during a late-period Flyers power play.
Toronto begins a three-game road trip Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who started the night six points behind the Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division by one game less.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on April 19, 2022.
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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press