Bernier, van Riemsdyk lead Maple Leafs past Flames
TORONTO (AP) Jonathan Bernier held off the Calgary Flames' flurry in the third period until his Toronto Maple Leafs teammates provided some breathing room in the final minute.
Bernier stopped 32 shots, James van Riemsdyk scored the winning goal early in the second period, and the Maple Leafs beat the Flames 4-1 Tuesday night.
Calgary outshot Toronto 16-8 in the third period, but the comeback bid finally ended when the Flames pulled Jonas Hiller for the extra attacker and Phil Kessel and Mike Santorelli both scored empty-netters.
''Bernier came up with big saves at the right time,'' Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. ''We knew what to expect because he's been real hot in (recent) games.
''I thought we played a decent first period, a great third period. But on the road against a team that is playing really well you need a full 60-minute effort.''
Bernier, making his ninth straight start and 11th in 12 games, was coming off a 44-save effort in a win over Vancouver on Saturday. He also came in with a 3-1-0 career mark against Calgary with a 1.75 goals-against average and .944 save percentage.
''I'm feeling pretty confident, pretty comfortable out there,'' he said. ''I think we have some pretty good chemistry with my D as well.''
Peter Holland also scored for Toronto, which finished its homestand 4-1 and improved to 6-1-1 following consecutive lopsided losses to Buffalo and Nashville.
Holland scored on a rebound at 10:46 of the first period with his seventh goal of the season and second in two games. The Leafs made it 2-0 on the power play at 2:51 of the second, as center Nazem Kadri slid a perfect pass over to van Riemsdyk, who redirected the puck past goalie Jonas Hiller from in front for his 11th of the season.
Toronto outshot Calgary 13-3 in the period.
''The second period was probably one of the best periods we've played this year,'' Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said.
However, Carlyle said his team sat back in the third, stopped hitting and had to chase the action.
Markus Granlund got the Flames on the scoreboard with a power-play goal at 3:48 of the third to make it 2-1.
Hiller, who has lost five straight starts against the Leafs, finished with 25 saves in his first game after five consecutive starts by Karri Ramo.
The Flames, coming off a 3-2 defeat to San Jose that snapped a four-game win streak, had consecutive losses for the first time this season. Calgary dropped to 9-1-1 in games following a defeat.
Toronto got sloppy as the second period ended, with one sequence having two players without sticks after Stephane Robidas lost his and fumbled a stick handover from David Clarkson.
Kessel showed great skill early in the third, knocking down a high pass from behind him and then flicking it to linemate Tyler Bozak whose shot was stopped by Hiller. The Swiss goalie then stopped Clarkson on a rush.
A penalty for too many men on the ice then cost the Leafs as Granlund beat his man and tucked a fine pass from Mark Giordano past Bernier with his fourth goal of the season.
Flames forward Mason Raymond returned to face his former team after an 18-game absence due to a shoulder injury. Matt Stajan, another former Leafs player, appeared in his second game after missing 16 with a knee injury.
NOTES: The Maple Leafs improved to 12-0-0 when scoring first. ... The Flames sent F Sven Baertschi to Adirondack of the AHL to make room for Raymond. ... The Flames started a four-game road trip that will see them play Thursday in Buffalo, before stops in Pittsburgh and Chicago. ... Toronto visits Detroit on Wednesday before hosting the Wings on Saturday to kick off three more games at home.