PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Steve Mason stopped all 30 shots and Michael Del Zotto scored to help the Philadelphia Flyers beat Toronto 1-0 on Saturday night and send the Maple Leafs to their ninth straight loss.
Mason had his second shutout of the season and 25th of his career. The Flyers won their first 1-0 game since Nov. 2, 2013.
The slumping Leafs have been held to one or less goal in eight of nine games. The Leafs had scored one goal in each of the last two games.
The Flyers have won a season-high four straight games as they make a desperate push to get back in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The game had the feel of a preseason tilt with little action in front of a quiet crowd. The Flyers only took 12 shots on goal through two periods and did not commit a penalty through the first two periods.
“I don’t think we liked our first two periods of play,” Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn said. “If it wasn’t for Mase, it could be a lot worse.”
The Flyers, who entered nine points out of a playoff spot in the East, scored the only goal they needed 4:05 into the game on Del Zotto’s fifth of the season. Del Zotto led a rush and flipped a pass from Petr Straka over James Reimer’s shoulder for the goal.
Reimer did his best to keep it a one-goal game the rest of the way, including a wonderful outstretched sweep of the puck off the goal line later in the first.
“We’re due for a couple of goals,” Reimer said before the game.
The wait goes on. That one goal was enough to beat the Leafs considering they’re woeful month. Toronto has lost nine straight games (0-8-1) for the first time since the 1985-86 season and has lost nine straight road games for the first time since 1996-97.
The Maple Leafs are 1-11-1 in January. They called a timeout with 49.2 seconds and pulled Reimer. Not even the extra skater could help.
“We’re capable of doing a lot of things, but when you’re mentally not in the right place, then it’s difficult,” Toronto interim coach Peter Horachek said. “There isn’t sound in the room that there’s any kind of major issues. We’ve had enough guys speaking up. Now, it’s about getting results. You have to believe, you have to trust each other. That’s where it has to go.”
NOTES: Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek each played in their 500th career game. … Mason played in his 100th game with the Flyers. He lost his last shutout against the New York Islanders on Nov. 24. He was credited with a shutout for three scoreless periods, plus overtime, but lost in the shootout.
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