Leafs fall to Flyers in a shootout, lose star winger Mitch Marner to injury

Leafs fall to Flyers in a shootout, lose star winger Mitch Marner to injury

TORONTO — Mike Babcock stepped to the microphone after the Maple Leafs’ 3-2 shootout loss Saturday and answered the only question on the minds of Toronto fans before he was even asked.

What’s the status of Mitch Marner’s ankle injury?

Bad enough to keep the star winger at home when the team travels to Chicago to meet the Blackhawks on Sunday, said the head coach.

After that, it’s anyone’s guess.

“I don’t know the extent (of the injury),” Babcock added later. ”I don’t know if it’s a few days or weeks or whatever.

“There’s no sense on dwelling on it.”

As for the game itself, Sean Couturier scored the winner in the shootout for the Philadelphia Flyers on a night that saw Toronto battle back from down two goals early to grab a point without one of its stars.

“We knew there was a lot of hockey left,” Leafs captain John Tavares said. ”I don’t think we ever felt terrible about the way we were playing.”

Toronto went a club record 11 rounds to beat Philadelphia 4-3 in a shootout in the City of Brotherly Love last weekend.

It took the Flyers just three shots to return the favour as Couturier ended it on a smooth deke after Claude Giroux blasted a slapshot past Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen.

William Nylander, who had a goal and an assist in regulation, scored on his attempt for Toronto. Tavares was stopped by Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, while Auston Matthews hit the post after setting up both Leafs goals in normal time.

“It was a good hockey game up and down the rink,” Babcock said. ”We had opportunity, they had opportunity.

“They got the second point and we didn’t.”

Phillipe Myers and Oskar Lindblom scored in regulation for Philadelphia (9-5-2), which got 38 stops from Elliott through 65 minutes of action.

Travis Dermott had the other goal for Toronto (9-5-4). Andersen made 30 stops for the Leafs, who saw their season-high three-game winning streak come to an end.

Kevin Hayes hit the post in overtime for Philadelphia before Ivan Provorov deked Andersen to the ice, but sent his backhand wide. Toronto got a power play late in the extra period, but Elliott was there to deny Nylander at the buzzer.

The Flyers, who visit the Boston Bruins on Sunday, now have points in five straight (4-0-1). The Leafs, meanwhile, are 4-1-2 over their last seven.

“That last game in our building and tonight, they’re hard-fought games,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said. ”Our focus was on bringing a real strong game on the road.

“It’s a big two points.”

After Andersen robbed Andy Andreoff and Michael Raffl in quick succession on a sequence that had fans at Scotiabank Arena chanting the Toronto netminder’s name to keep the Leafs down only 2-1 early in the third, Nylander tied it less than a minute later.

Matthews tried the lacrosse move where a player picks the puck up on his stick and attempts to tuck it in the top corner from behind Elliott’s net, but instead slid a pass to Nylander in front for his fifth at 3:58.

“He was trying (the lacrosse play), but didn’t get it up on his stick,” Nylander said. ”It was close, but it ended up right on my tape.”

Trevor Moore nearly won it for the Leafs with three minutes left in regulation only to see his shot ring off the crossbar to set up overtime and the shootout.

“I was like, ‘Let’s see how long this one’s going to go,’” said Elliott, who was in goal for last Saturday’s marathon. ”Our guys tucked a couple in … we stuck to our guns.”

Marner was hurt after falling awkwardly on his right leg off the second period’s opening faceoff. The 22-year-old struggled mightily to get to the bench and went the locker room. He returned during a television timeout to test the ankle, but once again headed off and was done for the night.

“Hopefully he’s fine,” Dermott said. “If we lose him, it’s a massive part of our squad.”

Philadelphia led 2-0 after the first, but Toronto got on the board at 10:11 of the second when Nylander found Dermott off the rush.

The defenceman, who suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery in last spring’s playoffs, was playing just his fifth game of 2019-20 and scored his first goal since early February.

Philadelphia opened the scoring at 8:08 the first when former Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk passed to Myers, who made no mistake through a partial screen for his second.

The third goal of the rookie blue-liner’s NHL career was also the 12th time in 17 games Toronto has fallen behind 1-0 this season.

The Flyers connected on their second power play late in the first when Lindblom deftly deflected Travis Konecny’s shot at the side off the net for his eighth at 1:32 before the Leafs eventually made a push without Marner.

“We just tried to stick with it and claw our way back,” Matthew said. ”Forced overtime, but you really want to get that extra point.”

And like Leafs fans, they’ll also want news soon on their fallen teammate.

Note: Kade Foster, the 11-year-old from Corner Brook, N.L., who made waves on social media last weekend when no one showed up to his birthday party, was in attendance with his family as guests of the Leafs and Air Canada. Kade’s father tweeted about his son’s disappointing birthday — tagging the team, Marner and Tavares in the post. The players, team, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a number of celebrities responded with an outpouring of online support.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie are serving sit-down customers in their Mirror diner to protest health restrictions that they say are unfair to restaurants and other small businesses. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta restaurant owner defies health restrictions by serving diners

Whistle Stop Cafe owner says pandemic restrictions unfair to restaurants and small businesses

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in her daily update on Monday that 362 new COVID cases have been identified and 7,200 tests done in the last 24 hours. (File photo)
COVID-19: UK variant may have entered broader community says Alberta health minister

25 cases of two variants identified in Alberta and one not linked to travel

An ice sculpture of a bee with a timely message was created near the Ross Street Patio. It’s party of a Downtown Business Association initiative to draw more people downtown to support local businesses. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Ice sculptures created to draw more people to downtown Red Deer

Three sculptures can be seem at various venues

Lab and x-ray technologist Rebecca Walter demonstrates a new digital radiographic X-ray unit funded by an $850,000 donation. The new unit is at the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care Service.
Photo contributed
New Sylvan Lake X-ray unit up and running

Radiographic x-ray unit made possible by $850,000 donation from Sylvan Lake couple

(Black Press file photo)
Police seeking suspects in Bowden armed robbery

Man was beaten and robbed of his wallet

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Toronto Maple Leafs alumni George Armstrong, right, and son of Maple Leafs alumni Syl Apps, Syl Apps Jr., shake hands during a pre-game ceremony before the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets NHL game in Toronto on February 21, 2015. George Armstrong, who captained the Toronto Maple Leafs to four Stanley Cups in the '60s and wore the blue and white his entire career, has died. He was 90. The Maple Leafs confirmed the death Sunday on Twitter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
Former Maple Leafs captain George Armstrong dies

Former Maple Leafs captain George Armstrong dies

Green Bay Packers' Adrian Amos pauses after losing the NFC championship NFL football game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Green Bay, Wis., Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The Buccaneers defeated the Packers 31-26 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Aaron Rodgers’ ‘uncertain’ future hangs over Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers’ ‘uncertain’ future hangs over Green Bay

Toronto Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich calls the plays on the sideline against Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg on August 14, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Scott Milanovich steps down as Edmonton’s head coach to pursue opportunities in NFL

Scott Milanovich steps down as Edmonton’s head coach to pursue opportunities in NFL

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) goes under Indiana Pacers guards Malcolm Brogdon (7) and Jeremy Lamb (26) to shoot during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Conroy
Brogdon scores 36 points to lead Pacers over Toronto Raptors

Brogdon scores 36 points to lead Pacers over Toronto Raptors

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2020, file photo, baseballs occupy a bucket after use during fielding practice during spring training baseball workouts for pitchers and catchers at Cleveland Indians camp in Avondale, Ariz. Major League Baseball is suspending all political contributions in the wake of last week's invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a mob loyal to President Donald Trump, joining a wave of major corporations rethinking their efforts to lobby Washington. “In light of the unprecedented events last week at the U.S. Capitol, MLB is suspending contributions from its Political Action Committee pending a review of our political contribution policy going forward,” the league said in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
Cactus League asks MLB to delay spring training due to COVID

Cactus League asks MLB to delay spring training due to COVID

Patrick Cantlay, right, bumps fists with Andrew Putman before teeing off on the first hole during the final round of The American Express golf tournament on the Pete Dye Stadium Course at PGA West Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in La Quinta, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Si Woo Kim holds off Cantlay to win The American Express

Si Woo Kim holds off Cantlay to win The American Express

Danielle Kang winds up to hit her tee shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the Tournament of Champions LPGA golf tournament, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Jessica Korda rallies to beat Kang in playoff at LPGA opener, Henderson ninth

Jessica Korda rallies to beat Kang in playoff at LPGA opener, Henderson ninth

COVID-19 scare prompts cancellation of Canada-U. S. soccer scrimmage in Florida

COVID-19 scare prompts cancellation of Canada-U. S. soccer scrimmage in Florida

Most Read