PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- After disappearing for nearly a year, Sami Kapanen finally showed up in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Kapanen scored two power-play goals and Tony Amonte had two assists as the Philadelphia Flyers posted a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs to take a three games to two lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Kapanen vanished during the Carolina Hurricanes' magical run to the Finals last season, scoring just one goal in 23 postseason games. He doubled his output from last year's playoffs in this one to help put the Flyers one win from advancing to the conference semifinals.
"It has been a tough 12 months," Kapanen said. "My offensive struggle pretty much started last year in the playoffs and it carried throughout the season this year. My numbers weren't what they were last year. ... Being an offensive player and not putting numbers on the board, I was starting to press. Hopefully, these goals will relax me."
After Wednesday's triple-overtime marathon, defenseman Aki Berg gave Toronto a lead 2 1/2 minutes into the game with his first career playoff tally. But the Flyers responded with goals 1:55 apart late in the first period and never looked back.
Game Six is Monday in Toronto.
Travis Green took a feed from Tucker before dishing to Berg, who unleashed a slap shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Cechmanek at 2:34 for his first tally in 42 postseason games.
It was the first shot of the game after the teams combined for 113 in Game Four.
Defenseman Chris Therien thwarted another Toronto scoring chance, breaking up a 2-on-1 midway through the first, before the Flyers capitalized on a power-play opportunity to tie it.
With Tucker in the penalty box for closing his hand on the puck, defenseman Kim Johnsson fired a shot from the left point that Kapanen deflected between teammate Jeremy Roenick's legs and past a screened Ed Belfour at 14:30 for his first playoff tally since Game Four of last year's conference finals against Toronto.
"I was in front of the net on the power play and I ended up just getting the stick on that one," Kapanen said. "Johnsson shot and it went off my stick."
Less than two minutes later, Philadelphia took advantage of a turnover to grab the lead.
The hero of Game Three with his double-overtime goal, Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle coughed up the puck behind his own net. Roenick pounced on it and fed Yushkevich, whose shot from the slot beat Belfour low to the glove side at 16:25.
"I was just happy to score a goal in the playoffs," Yushkevich said. "It's not like it was a game-winning goal. I was just happy to score that goal. Jeremy and Tony did a great job in the corner and they got the puck away from the Toronto defense. Their forwards collapsed down low to help their defense. The slot was wide open and JR saw me. He's such a great player that I didn't have to yell."
"I tried to handle the puck and it ended up in our net," Kaberle said. "It ended up being the turning point of the game. It's tough. What I have to do is think about the next game and forget about this one."
Kaberle's coach agreed with his assessment of the goal.
"What tires you out is when you give up simple goals. That tires anybody out," Pat Quinn said. "The power-play goal was one of those ones that goes in, but the penalty was just atrocious. We can't have those kind of penalties. The second goal, I can pick the guy and say, 'What the hell was he thinking?'" Tucker nearly evened the contest after Mark Recchi was stopped in front by Belfour, but his shot with 2:15 left in the period hit the right goalpost.
"We hit a couple of posts that could have made it 2-2 or 3-2 for us," Tucker said. "Those bounces in playoff hockey are what counts. ... Sometimes, when you want to win a championship, you have to have some luck and right now, we're not creating some luck."
Cechmanek was saved again with 12 minutes to go in the second.
While shorthanded, Toronto captain Mats Sundin intercepted Johnsson's pass at the blue line and skated away on a 2-on-1. He dished to Alexander Mogilny, who returned after missing Game Four with a concussion-like symptoms. But the Russian star was denied his sixth goal of the series when his shot from the left circle hit the near post.
The Flyers had their own 2-on-1 a minute later, but Marty Murray could not get to the rebound of Gagne's shot from the left circle. Philadelphia had a 3-on-1 on its subsequent trip down the ice, but Amonte failed to record a shot.
The freshest player on either team, Justin Williams used his speed to help give Philadelphia a two-goal cushion.
Playing just his fifth game following left knee surgery, Williams broke up a pass in the Toronto zone and carried up the right side. He dished to Gagne, whose pass to Keith Primeau was blocked in front. But Gagne followed the puck down the slot and banged it past Belfour at 14:35 for his second goal of the series.
"It was a turnover on their blue line," Gagne said. "Justin had the puck and went wide. He gave it to me and it became a 2-on-1 with me and Primeau. I tried to get it to Primeau, but my pass came right back on my blade and I shot the puck. I put it right between his legs."
"For me, the turning point of the game was Gagne's goal," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "The third goal gave us a checking cushion that helped us a lot. Toronto is such an opportunistic team, they have so many people who can score from a distance, so all they need is one shot. That goal gave us a little bit of a cushion that we haven't had."
Mogilny caught Primeau with a high stick seven minutes into the third and was given a double-minor. Philadelphia took control on the ensuing power play.
Defenseman Eric Weinrich unleashed a shot from the left point that Belfour stopped. Standing at the left side of the net, Kapanen corraled the rebound and banked it off the goalie's blocker at 8:41 for his second of the game.
"I was in front of the net just hoping to hit the goalie or go on the wide side because Michal Handzus was right there," Kapanen said.
"We're a team that has had a tough time putting 60 good minutes together and at playoff time, you need to do that," Sundin said. "We play good in spurts and there are spurts where we're not playing well. And that's costing us."
Cechmanek withstood Toronto's last gasp with 9:25 remaining, denying defenseman Robert Svehla from the slot with his right pad before using his glove to knock down Kaberle's shot off the rebound.
"He was excellent tonight," Hitchcock said. "His whole game was excellent. He was solid."
During the Maple Leafs' flurry, Desjardins suffered a right foot injury and was helped to the locker room. He had X-rays taken and will be re-evaluated Sunday.
"He took a slap shot in the foot," Hitchcock said. "He'll be evaluated and we'll see if he'll be ready for Game Six. We won't know anything for the next day or so."