Rookie Nazem Kadri scored his first goal in exhibition play as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 at London’s John Labatt Centre on Thursday night.
It was a nice home coming for the local native who played with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights in 2008-09.
Toronto’s first round draft pick in the 2009 entry draft centred a line with Lee Stempniak and Niklas Hagman.
“He looked a little nervous before the game but I think getting him involved in the first shift helped settle his nerves.” said Leafs coach Ron Wilson
The Leafs are now 1-1 in the preseason
Toronto goalies James Reimer and Joey MacDonald split time between the pipes to get the shutout. MacDonald started while Reimer played the last two periods.
“We had a little bit more skill so we could finish off our opportunities,” Wilson said. “We got some really timely goaltending from both our goalies who made a key save here and there.”
Brian Boucher and Johan Backlund allowed two goals each for the Flyers.
Kadri scored at 13:55 in the first period to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead. He received a drop-back pass from Hagman and his wrist shot beat Boucher on the left side.
Stempniak had earlier scored off a rebound from Tomas Kaberle to put the Leafs on the board.
The game was a chippy affair as Ben Ondrus and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen dropped their gloves six minutes in. Ondrus got into another fight with Logan Stephenson in the middle of the third.
Leafs’ Luke Schenn and Philly’s Daniel Carcillo also fought each other midway through the first, while Toronto’s Jay Rosehill and Riley Cote battled early in the final frame.
Mikhail Grabovski scored Toronto’s third goal on a harmless wrist shot that deflected off Philadelphia goaltender Johan Backlund at 19:26 of the second to put the Leafs ahead 3-0.
Christian Hanson made it 4-0 with 5:17 left to go. He scored off a rebound from a Rosehill wrap-around.
The Flyers almost took advantage on a short-handed opportunity as Tyler Bozak turned the puck over to Mike Richards in Philadelphia’s zone.
Richards rushed up the ice and tried to convert on Joffrey Lupul’s pass deep in Leafs territory, but Reimer shifted over to his left in time to make the glove save.
Kadri, 18, who scored 25 goals and 53 assists for the Knights last season, came out for the opening face off against Jeff Carter.
Flyers’ defencemen Danny Syvret also suited up. He played four years on the Knights and captained the team to a Memorial Cup in 2005.