The Flyers were unable to overcome Trevor Lewis’ second period goal or solve Jonathan Quick in the Kings’ 2-0 shutout on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Quick was masterful, stopping all 35 shots—including 17 in the third period—in his 2017 debut after missing nearly all of last season due to injury. It was a frustrating night for the Flyers’ power play, which went 0-for-5 a night after scoring three goals with the man-advantage a night ago in San Jose.
While it was a tough night for the Flyers offensively, Michal Neuvirth was outstanding in goal, stopping 25 of 27 shots and making a spectacular save on Anze Kopitar that will surely find its way onto every highlight reel this week.
The Kings took advantage of the Flyers playing in the second of two back-to-back games, jumping on the gas early and keeping the puck in the Flyers’ zone for the better part of the first 10 minutes.
Michal Neuvirth made a couple nice saves early in his season debut, stopping Alex Iafallo off a quick Kings counter rush up ice just 3:18 in and then followed with nice save on Adrian Kempe about a minute later.
The Flyers’ penalty kill would pick up where they left off in San Jose, killing off an early Travis Konecny holding penalty without allowing a shot on goal.
After treading water for the fist eight minutes, the Flyers would get their skating legs going with a chance from Dale Weise at the end of a nice shift from his line consisting of Valtteri Filppula and Travis Konecny. Weise didn’t get much on the shot, but the line created some momentum with a shift spent in the offensive zone.
With 7:05 left in the first the fourth line would make its presence known with a great shift ending in a Scott Laughton scoring chance that was turned aside by Quick. Taylor Leier’s board work near the goal line kept the cycle game going and create the chance for Laughton.
The Flyers were unable to cash in on their first power play of the night with 5:24 left in the period despite chances from Shayne Gostisbehere and Jake Voracek. The second unit nearly broke the scoreless tie with a Filppula shot that handcuffed Quick a bit but dribbled wide.
Neuvirth absolutely robbed Anze Kopitar wth a sprawling, highlight-reel glove save with just over a minute left to keep the Kings scoreless. It’s only game two, but you won’t see many better saves than that the rest of the season.
Neuvirth with a save of the year candidate, in game #2. pic.twitter.com/w2dvTkhNLH— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) October 6, 2017
Both goalies were very good in the first with Jonathan Quick stopping all 10 Flyers shots and Neuvirth turning aside all nine Kings offerings.
After squandering an early power play chance to start the period, Michael Raffl charged down the right wing but was denied by Quick in close. Raffl showed great speed down the wing and a nice power move to cut inside for the scoring chance.
Los Angeles would break the ice with a Trevor Lewis goal to make it 1-0 at the 6:16 mark off a Flyers turnover in the neutral zone. Nick Shore picked up the puck off the turnover and found Kyle Clifford, who fired a cross-ice pass to a streaking Lewis on the left side to beat Neuvirth.
Its a learning experience, Travis pic.twitter.com/Yo5Y4nDmEj— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) October 6, 2017
With the Kings having the Flyers on their heels a bit midway through the period, a penalty was the last thing the Flyers needed. Claude Giroux went to the box for slashing, but the Flyers were able to kill it off with some nice work by Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier on the penalty kill.
The momentum from the kill carried over as Giroux exited the box and sparked a two-on-one that resulted in the Flyers’ captain drawing a penalty. Despite a couple heavy Flyers shots and prolonged zone time, the Kings were able to kill of the minor a maintain the 1-0 lead with 4:49 left in the second.
Sean Couturier appeared to have a golden scoring chance at the 16:09 mark, but the center was hooked from behind a bit and never really got a shot off to challenge Quick.
Making his NHL debut, Travis Sanheim would find the penalty box at the end of the second period with a double minor for high sticking Trevor Lewis. But thanks to four saves from Michal Neuvirth, the Flyers would make it to intermission down just one goal and 2:13 of carryover penalty time left to start the third.
The Flyers gained a jolt of momentum as the final seconds of the Sanheim double minor melted away early on in the third. Neuvirth did most of the work at the tail end of the second and his mates picked him up with a strong effort to finish off the kill after the intermission.
Following the kill the Flyers got back-to-back strong shifts from both the Couturier and Laughton lines. Couturier again found himself with a great chance in close at the 5:13 mark, but was again denied by the Kings’ netminder. He wasn’t alone as Quick turned aside a pair of shots from Laughton on the ensuing shift.
Los Angeles ceded control to the Flyers after the Sanheim penalty expired, with nine-straight shots coming at Quick without a Kings shot at the other end. After standing idle for the better part of nearly eight minutes, Neuvirth came up with a dandy of a save on Tyler Toffoli right on the doorstep to keep the Flyers within a goal at the 9:32 mark.
Back-to-back power plays under the 10 minute mark gave the Flyers a prime chance to add a tying goal, but Jonathan Quick stood tall despite sustained pressure by the Flyers on both. That left the Flyers with an 0-for-5 with the man-advantage on the evening.
With the Flyers pressing for the tying goal, Tyler Toffoli would add the dagger, giving the Kings a 2-0 lead with 2:21 left to play. Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson got the assists on the goal, which came on a two-on-one after a Flyers defender pinched too high in the offensive zone.
Next up: Flyers at Ducks, Saturday at 10 p.m. on NBCSN and on radio at 97.5 The Fanatic