Campbell wins 30th of season; Maple Leafs beat Flyers 5-2
TORONTO (AP) — William Nylander scored his career-high 32nd goal of the season and Jack Campbell made 36 saves in his 30th win of the year as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Timothy Liljegren, Jason Spezza and David Kampf scored, and Ilya Mikheyev added an empty-net goal for Toronto. Nylander and Mikheyev each added an assist.
The fourth member of the Maple Leafs’ so-called “Core Four” that also includes Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares, Nylander went eight games without a goal from late January until the middle of February.
“It was all about skating more,” said Nylander, who has four goals and four assists in his last five contests. “I put more focus onto that part of my game.
“A little bit off … not as turned on.”
The Maple Leafs are 11-1-1 over their last 13 games, while Campbell put up a save percentage above .930 in back-to-back starts for the first time since Jan. 1.
“He was excellent,” Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe said of his goaltender. “It was great to see.”
James van Riemsdyk and Ronnie Attard scored for Philadelphia. Travis Konecny had two assists and Martin Jones stopped 24 shots.
“We battled hard,” Jones said. “Some breakdowns cost us.”
Matthews, who leads the NHL with 58 goals and is looking to become the first player since 2011-12 to reach the 60-goal in a season, sat out a second straight game for Toronto with an undisclosed injury.
Minus his best player, and all but cemented into the second seed in the Atlantic Division, Keefe experimented with different line combinations, including winger Colin Blackwell getting top-six minutes alongside Tavares and Mikheyev.
The Leafs opened the scoring at 1:35 of the second period. Alexander Kerfoot chased down a loose puck in the Philadelphia zone before feeding in front for Liljegren, who beat Jones high for his fifth of the season.
Campbell made big stops on Konecny and Travis Sanheim a few minutes later, but couldn’t keep van Riemsdyk — who played six seasons in Toronto from 2012-18 — at bay as he scored his 21st at 8:07 off a scramble.
Nylander then set a career mark for goals at 13:39 when he took a cross-ice feed from Mitch Marner on a power play and fired his 32nd into the top corner. The winger has four goals and four assists in his last four games.
Toronto, which improved to 6-1-0 in seven outings without Matthews this season, pushed its lead to 3-1 with 24.8 seconds left in the period on a gorgeous passing play between three veterans. Spezza took a feed from Wayne Simmonds and played a quick give-and-go with Mark Giordano, who scored 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 trickled past Jones.
Attard scored his second of the season on a bullet past Campbell’s left ear with 2:34 left in regulation. Toronto held on from there for its fourth straight win. Mikheyev sealing it with his 18th goal.
NOTE: The Maple Leafs set franchise records for wins (50) and points (106) in Sunday’s 4-2 home victory over the New York Islanders.
Flyers: At Montreal on Thursday night.
Maple Leafs: At Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.