PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Flyers saved their best for last.
Mark Recchi scored two goals and set up another and Justin Williams and Claude Lapointe each had a goal and two assists as the Flyers advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 6-1 rout of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After failing to eliminate the Maple Leafs in a double-overtime thriller on Monday, the Flyers left little doubt in Game Seven, grabbing a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes on goals by Simon Gagne and Williams.
The floodgates opened in the second as Toronto's Ed Belfour allowed three goals, one following his own elbowing penalty. Unbeaten in four previous Game Sevens, Belfour allowed all six goals on 36 shots.
"It's my job to be the last defense back there," Belfour said. "When they get good chances, it's my job to come up with the big saves. I made a few, but I didn't come up with the timely ones, and those are the most important ones."
The hero of Game Four with a triple-overtime winner, Recchi scored goals 3:06 apart late in the second to take the playoff lead with six.
"For most of my career, I've been a pretty good playoff player," Recchi said. "You always want to prove, to yourself most of all, that you can still be an effective player. The puck is finding ways to get in for me, and I'll take it. But I'm not getting too excited because we have another huge series ahead of us."
Williams figured in Philadelphia's first three tallies while Lapointe capped the scoring with his first postseason goal since 1993.
Keith Primeau added his first playoff goal since his game-winner in the fifth overtime of Game Four of the 2000 conference semifinals at Pittsburgh.
Roman Cechmanek rarely was tested, stopping 18 shots in the first Game Seven of his career.
"I was so happy we won, so happy to get out of the first round," Cechmanek said. "A couple of the hockey experts didn't trust me in this series. This was a big win for us, a big series. We thought it would be a long series in the beginning, and it was."
Gary Roberts scored the lone goal for the Maple Leafs, who fell to 11-9 in seventh games, including a 5-8 mark on the road.
"Obviously, it's disappointing and frustrating to finish this way," Toronto defenseman Glen Wesley said. "We definitely had the momentum going from last night. We felt good about it going into the game, but unfortunately, it's a game of mistakes and we turned over too many pucks."
The series was the second longest in terms of playing time in NHL playoff history at 532 minutes, 5 seconds. Only the 1939 Boston-New York Rangers semifinal series went longer, thanks to four overtime contests, including two that took three extra periods.
Philadelphia, which became the seventh consecutive home team to win a Game Seven, will face the Presidents' Trophy-winning Ottawa Senators in a rematch of last season's conference quarterfinals.
"For me personally, I didn't want this to be my last game as a Philadelphia Flyer," said Primeau, whose team moved past the first round for just the second time in six years. "(Flyers chairman Ed Snider) said that the coach would be here if we didn't have success and the players would be moved. Ultimately, with me being the most vocal, I was probably going to be the guy who was going to be moved."
One night after playing the third multiple-overtime game of the series, the teams were tentative at the start of this one, generating few scoring chances until an errant clearing attempt by Belfour resulted in a turnover.
While behind the net, Belfour fired the puck up the left boards. But Primeau was there to stop it before dishing to Williams down low. From the corner, the 21-year-old winger passed in front, where Gagne put a shot past Belfour's stick side at 16:23.
"I tried to play it around the boards and it went to them," Belfour said. "It was a good forecheck on their part and I played the puck a little too hard."
"We felt we needed to give the team energy tonight," Gagne said of his line. "All of our lines played well, the entire team played well. It was as close to a perfect game as we have played."
In the final minute of the period, Lapointe carried down the left side before unleashing a shot from low in the faceoff circle. Standing on the doorstep, Williams redirected it between Belfour's pads at 19:08 for his first career playoff goal.
"Lapointe battled three guys along the boards and came up with the puck," Williams said. "I just went to the net and put my stick on the ice and it went in the net."
"Once we gave up those goals, the edge went to them in kind of a big way," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "Then, when it is 2-0, you figure you have chances to come back. We made some mental errors that we paid a big price for."
The Flyers continued to apply pressure early in the second but were unable to cash in.
Michal Handzus was stopped in front by Belfour 3 1/2 minutes into the period, while Gagne's backhander from the doorstep bounced off the crossbar.
With defenseman Jyrki Lumme already in the penalty box, Belfour was called for slashing, giving the Flyers a 70-second two-man advantage. But Jeremy Roenick's shot from the left side trickled through the crease and was cleared out of the zone.
One second after Toronto returned to full strength, Primeau drove through the right circle and backhanded a pass to Gagne in front. Trying to intercept, Alexander Mogilny inadvertently slid the puck between Belfour's pads at 8:18, giving the Philadelphia captain his first postseason tally in 25 games.
"I was trying to move the puck to Simon," Primeau said. "That's how easy it is, just put it to the net. It went off their (player) and between Ed's legs. You like to contribute offensively as much as you can. It's nice to contribute and be on the board, but I wasn't too concerned about it."
Roberts nearly broke through for the Maple Leafs with 8:51 left, but Cechmanek made a sliding pad save on his shot from the left side. But the rugged left wing cashed in just under three minutes later on a controversial play.
As Lumme wound up for a shot at the right point, Sundin and Flyers defenseman Eric Weinrich battled in front. While Roberts deflected the puck out of the air and past Cechmanek at 13:50, Sundin bumped into the goaltender.
Cechmanek argued to no avail, but the Flyers regained a three-goal lead less than three minutes later.
Rookie defenseman Jim Vandermeer, who was in the lineup for the injured Eric Desjardins, kept the puck in the Toronto zone at the right point and fired a shot toward the net. After Belfour stopped Recchi's redirection, Lapointe whipped the rebound off the right goalpost.
The puck caromed to the left side, where Recchi put it by Belfour at 16:16.
Cleary rattled, Belfour began to unravel, taking an elbowing penalty with 54 seconds to go in the second after roaming into the corner for the second time in less than a minute.
"It was just an emotional series and emotional game," Belfour explained.
"Eddie is an unbelievable competitor, but when we got up a couple goals, it wasn't just him, it was everybody," Williams said. "But when we got up a couple, that was the point where we had him."
Wesley's slashing penalty at the same time gave the Flyers another two-man advantage, and it took them just 16 seconds to make Toronto pay.
Recchi got a rebound of his own shot and banked it off the left post and in at 19:22 for his second two-goal game of the series.
Tony Amonte nearly ended an 11-game playoff drought 72 seconds into the third, but his shot from the low slot hit the crossbar.
Known more for his checking than his scoring, Lapointe took a feed from John LeClair and knocked in his own rebound at 8:28 to end his own 20-game playoff goalless spell.
"When Lappy scored to make it 6-1, I finally took a deep breath and said, 'We're moving on,'" Primeau said.