TORONTO - Centers Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier have suffered through sophomore slumps, but they played major roles Thursday as the resilient Flyers outlasted the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3, at the Air Canada Centre and increased their season-best winning streak to four games.
"We're both trying to step up," Schenn said after the Flyers climbed to within two points of the eighth-place Rangers in the Eastern Conference. "We're getting the opportunity, playing on the power play and playing with good players. We need secondary scoring. It's not just Claude Giroux. We have to chip in."
The victory may have been costly. Kimmo Timonen, one of the few defensemen left standing from the beginning of the season, left the game with an unspecified injury in the third period. Timonen limped badly out of the Flyers' locker room and refused to answer questions.
The Flyers winning streak has coincided with the loss of four of their top defensemen and forwards Danny Briere and Max Talbot, all of whom are injured.
"I think guys are doing well who may not have gotten the opportunity," said Luke Schenn, who iced the win with an empty-net goal and had six hits and four blocked shots. "Maybe there's not as much skill in the lineup, but everyone seems to be working real hard and playing together and playing a lot smarter."
"I really like the way we're playing right now," coach Peter Laviolette said. "You could just tell we were going to work hard tonight, and the new guys [Jay Rosehill and Adam Hall] who came in tonight were terrific in that regard."
Couturier, who on Wednesday scored his first goal in 28 games, set up a pair of goals - Jake Voracek's 16th and Rosehill's first in his Flyers debut.
Brayden Schenn scored his first goal since Feb. 23, ending a 16-game drought. He intercepted Nikolai Kulemin's clearing pass in Toronto's end and his shot trickled off goalie James Reimer 54 seconds into the second period to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead.
With 4 minutes, 7 seconds left in the second, Couturier's shot from above the left circle glanced off Rosehill and into the net to put the Flyers ahead, 4-2.
Former Flyer James van Riemsdyk snapped a 10-game goal-scoring funk with 13:46 left to get the Maple Leafs to within 4-3. But the Flyers held on.
Luke Schenn (plus-3), who was acquired for van Riemsdyk, scored the empty-netter with 17 seconds left, giving the Flyers a 5-12-1 road record.
Couturier centered a line with Rosehill and Hall, both in their Flyers debuts, helping end the Leafs' four-game winning streak.
Hall and Rosehill crunched Joffrey Lupul with an early check that caused the Maple Leafs' star to miss almost the entire game with an undisclosed injury.
Rosehill, a former Maple Leaf, also won a first-period fight with Toronto tough guy Colton Orr. Before being acquired for Harry Zolnierczyk earlier in the week, Rosehill spent the entire season playing for Anaheim's minor-league team in Norfolk.
"I was just trying to come in here and make an impact and have a good start, and I'm pretty happy the way it went. It's a big win," Rosehill said.