They had to lose sooner or later, right?
The first period was forgettable by a number of measures. It was sloppy to say the least: the Flyers were credited with five giveaways and seven failed clears. On top of that, the Kings had the Flyers hemmed in their own zone for the majority of even strength time. To compound issues, they registered zero shots on goal in their first power play of the period. Eventually, things picked up, and for all of the Kings domination, the first period ended scoreless.
None other than former Flyer Jeff Carter opened up scoring in the second. Martinez made a great pass and Carter didn't miss the opportunity. Just a minute later, Vinny Lecavalier looked like he was about to tie the game when he was left with a wide open net, but of course, he hit both posts and the crossbar and, while the play was reviewed, it was ruled a no goal.
A weird goal by another former Flyer (this one was Justin Williams) put the Kings up 2-0 to end the second. At that point, shots were in favor of the Kings 33-18 and it was obvious that if the Flyers were going to challenge, it was going to be because of a combination of sheer force of will and Ray Emery's goaltending, not because of skill.
Sure enough, Matt Read redirected a weak shot by Sean Couturier just half a minute into the third period. Quick tried to bat it out of the way, but missed, and the puck dribbled in. It wasn't pretty, but it was Read's twentieth goal of the season and it got the Flyers within one. Several minutes later, another Flyer scored his twentieth of the season. This time it was Jake Voracek, who tipped in a Hartnell shot from the blue line to tie it up.
Of course, the Kings responded on a two on one and pulled back in front. Despite a serious push in the dying minutes of the game, the Flyers were unable to tie it up again.
- Ray Emery was stunning. The Kings peppered him with shots all night long, and he gave the Flyers every opportunity to get in the game and steal it away. Really, there was very little support given to him, so...hats off to Razor. Great performance.
- Jonathan Quick was also very good. Take that shtick elsewhere, sir, because I don't appreciate it when it's not the Olympics.
- The Flyers got absolutely ruined in the even strength game for the majority of the game, and as usual, their special teams had to hold them in this one. Their penalty kill was excellent like it needed to be. Cashing in on a power play would have helped them out, but whatever, can't always get what you want.
- Coburn hustled to break up a two on one with Gaborik and Williams. He ended up getting a stick in Gaborik's lane, and eventually, snuffed out the chance. It was an excellent defensive play. In another instance, Luke Schenn broke up a two on one with a diving stick. I just wanted to point those out because they were bright spots in an otherwise messy defensive game.
- Tye McGinn didn't stick out much on the third line, and in a game like this one, I think that's a good thing. The third line didn't look as dynamic as usual, though.
- Mike Richards didn't score, so...there's that!
The game wasn't as tight as you would hope, but five minutes into the first period, you could sense pretty well that this game was going to be a loss. The Kings were absolutely dominant in all aspects of the game and really put the Flyers to shame. The Flyers surged in the third period, but it wasn't enough.
Still, put this loss in perspective. The Flyers won five straight games against really good teams. They were bound to lose at some point, and I'd rather it be at the hands of the Kings (who, for the record, are very good at hockey) than against the Rangers on Wednesday night. The Flyers have been playing very well, definitely above expectations. One loss isn't super concerning.
This loss marks the end of the homestand. The Flyers won three of four. Not too shabby. Like I said before, the Flyers will be travelling up to MSG to take on the Rangers on Wednesday night. Big game! Go Flyers.