James van Riemsdyk scored a shorthanded goal and Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves to help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Flames, 4-2, on Wednesday night in Calgary, Alberta.
Eastern Conference-leading Toronto has won three straight to improve to 10-4-0. It was the Maple Leafs’ first victory in Calgary since Dec. 27, 2002.
Joffrey Lupul, Mason Raymond, and Paul Ranger — shorthanded into an empty net — also scored for Toronto. Coming off a 4-0 victory on Tuesday night in Edmonton, the Maple Leafs will wrap up their three-game trip through Western Canada on Saturday night in Vancouver.
Matt Stajan and David Jones scored for Calgary. The Flames are 5-5-2.
Late in the first period with Toronto up, 1-0, and killing a penalty, van Riemsdyk carried the puck out of his own end, worked a give-and-go with Jay McClement after crossing the Calgary blue line and snapped a 30-foot shot over goalie Karri Ramo’s glove.
Entering the night, the storyline was Phil Kessel, who had seven goals and 10 points in the previous four games to climb into a tie for second in the NHL’s scoring race behind Sidney Crosby. However, the Flames were also able to hold Kessel off the scoreboard.
Calgary couldn’t muster enough offense against Bernier despite holding a 43-22 edge in shots. Bernier was playing for the first time in three games and simply didn’t give the Flames much, despite Calgary having the territorial edge.
Calgary cut it to one when Jones deflected Kris Russell’s point shot with 5:21 left in the third period, but the Flames could not get back to even despite getting a man advantage with 3 minutes left when David Clarkson was sent off for boarding.
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The Phoenix Coyotes were embarrassed the previous time they played Los Angeles. Their last game wasn’t a whole lot better, even if it was a victory.
Bouncing back against the Kings and getting back to their defensive mind-set should make them feel much better.
Mike Smith stopped 41 shots, Kyle Chipchura had a goal and an assist, and the Coyotes rebounded from an ugly loss to Los Angeles by beating the Kings, 3-1, Tuesday night in Glendale, Ariz.