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Flyers drop opener

October 3, 2013
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dave Bolland scored twice and Phil Kessel added a goal to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.

The Maple Leafs are off to a 2-0 start and spoiled Philadelphia’s season opener one night after ruining Montreal’s. Jonathan Bernier stopped 31 shots for the Maple Leafs.

Toronto acquired Bolland and Bernier in the offseason to bolster their bid to get out of the first round and make a run in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Kessel scored his goal a day after he signed a $64 million, eight-year extension.

Brayden Schenn scored for the Flyers.

Bolland scored the go-ahead goal from the slot early in the third period. It was his first goal since the Game 6 clincher for the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals.

He sealed this win with a power-play goal with 22.5 seconds left.

Kessel turned 26 on Wednesday with plenty of reasons to celebrate. He signed the whopping extension that will keep him off the free-agent market after the season.

A 20-goal scorer last season, Kessel knocked in a rebound late in the second for the tying goal.

Kessel helped make up for Toronto’s lone second-period power play. The Maple Leafs came away empty because Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann blocked three straight shots in 2 minutes to keep the game scoreless.

The Flyers wasted a fantastic chance to go ahead after Paul Ranger slashed Wayne Simmonds on a breakaway, setting up a penalty shot with 3.1 seconds left in the second period. Simmonds was easily stopped on his attempt to put the puck through Bernier’s legs. Back on the bench, Simmonds slammed the boards in frustration.

Like Kessel, Bernier also is part of Toronto’s long-term future. He signed a $5.8 million, two-year contract soon after he was acquired from Los Angeles. He was 29-20-6, with a 2.36 goals-against average and .912 save percentage as Jonathan Quick’s backup with the Kings.

 
 

 

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