O’Neill leads Leafs past Flyers


PHILADELPHIA – Jeff O’Neill had two goals, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers fell five points behind the Atlantic-Division leading New York Rangers with five games remaining for each, including one meeting between the teams. Philadelphia is fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Alex Steen, Mats Sundin and Chad Kilger also scored for Toronto, which won its second game in Philadelphia in less than two weeks. The Maple Leafs had never before beaten the Flyers twice on the road in the same season.

R.J. Umberger and Jeff Carter scored for the Flyers, who were without top playmaker Peter Forsberg for the second straight game because of a groin injury.

Each of Toronto’s goals came on the power play against the NHL’s worst penalty-killing team at home. The Leafs finished 5-for-8 with the man advantage.

O’Neill deflected a slap shot from Ian White past goaltender Antero Niittymaki to give Toronto a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Late in the first, Matt Stajan sent a perfect centering pass to a streaking Steen, whose one-timer made it 2-0. Steen had the winning goal in Toronto’s 3-2 victory in Philadelphia on March 28.

The Leafs took a 3-0 lead when O’Neill scored another power-play goal in the second period after Flyers defenseman Denis Gauthier received a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding.

Umberger cut it to 3-1 with 4:47 left in the second period. He one-timed a behind-the-net pass from Niko Dimitrakos into the top corner.

But Sundin restored a three-goal advantage with his 23rd goal in the final minute of the second period. Carter’s power-play goal in the third got the Flyers within two.

Kilger’s power-play goal came with an empty net in the final seconds.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 28 saves for the Leafs. Aubin, who spent most of the season in the AHL, is unbeaten in regulation in seven starts, going 5-0-2.

The Flyers, plagued by injuries throughout the season, also didn’t have center Petr Nedved (groin) for the fourth consecutive game while defensemen Kim Johnsson (concussion) and Chris Therein (head) remained sidelined.

Flyers enforcer Donald Brashear squared off with Wade Belak near center ice late in the first period, giving fans their only reason to cheer to that point. But the fight proved to be a dud when Brashear slipped after throwing his first punch and the referees stepped in.

Notes: The Maple Leafs won the season series, 3-1. … The Flyers are 9-8-2 without Forsberg, who has 19 goals and 55 assists for 74 points in 58 games. They’re 31-16-9 with him in the lineup. … C Ryan Potulny, the Flyers’ third-round draft pick in 2003, was scratched a night after playing his first NHL game. … The Flyers have allowed 57 power-play goals in 225 chances at home. This was the third time this season – all at home – they’ve allowed four or more power-play goals in a game.

AP-ES-04-08-06 2136EDT