By Annie Ross
Andres Johnsson scored in the 11th round of the shootout to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 victory over the Flyers.
Kasperi Kapanen, Jason Spezza and Mitchell Marner scored for Toronto, which got 37 saves from Frederik Andersen during regulation and overtime and 10 stops in the shootout session.
Ivan Provorov, Claude Giroux and Travis Sanheim scored for the Flyers. Brian Elliott had 25 saves.
“I think everyone at tonight’s game enjoyed it,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said. “For me, it was fun being part of it. I’m sure it was fun for the players to be a part of it. For the fans, I’m sure everyone had a great time tonight.”
The 11-round shootout was the longest in Toronto franchise history dating to the start of the format during the 2005-06 season. It was the second-longest in Philly history, trailing only a 13-round loss to the New York Rangers in October 2006.
The shootout period saw both goaltenders shine. Andersen and Elliott allowed one goal in the first 10 rounds of the shootout. In the 11th, Andersen recorded a glove save on Provorov from in close, while Johnsson was able to beat Elliott to the stick side for the winner.
Sanheim was partially responsible for both of Toronto’s goals in the first two periods, falling down while trying to change directions at the blue line, allowing Kapanen to break in and beat Elliott for his fourth goal of the season, giving the Leafs a 1-0 lead just six minutes in. Later, a Sanheim attempt to clear the crease of a loose puck was deflected home by Spezza to tie the game at 2-2.
However, Sanheim earned a bit of redemption just 31 seconds into the third when his backhander got past a sprawling Andersen for his first goal of the season and briefly gave Philadelphia a 3-2 advantage.
“We need him to be the player that he can be,” Vigneault said. “He is fighting it right now. He is going through some growing pains. When he comes out of it, I am very confident that he is going to be a very useful player for this team.”
That Flyers lead would disappear, however, when Marner turned a Sean Couturier neutral zone turnover into his fourth goal of the season by beating Elliott to the stick side, tying the game at 3 and sending it to overtime.