The Flyers’ slow starts almost came back to bite them early on in this one, as just about two minutes in, Wayne Simmonds took a tripping penalty sending the Kings to the game’s first power play. However, with strong work by Sean Couturier, Ivan Provorov and co. the Flyers were able to kill off the power play with relative ease. And despite allowing that first power play, the Flyers had the edge in shots through the first half of the first period. Couturier had an early chance on a two-on-one, and the Oskar Lindblom — Nolan Patrick — Jakub Voracek line were clicking in the early going, amassing a productive amount of offensive zone time.
The Kings would head back to the power play around the halfway mark of the first however, after a questionable call on Christian Folin’s hit on Ilya Kovalchuk. Kovalchuk appeared to be going for the loose puck, but backed off at the last second to avoid contact, Folin had already committed to playing the body and slammed into him. To make matters worse, Jori Lehtera would take a hooking penalty on Jeff Carter moments later, giving the Kings 96 seconds’ worth of a five-on-three power play. The Kings would squander this opportunity thankfully, only mustering two shots on both power plays. The penalty kill may be bad, but this had to feel good for a group that has been horrendous to start the season. Brian Elliott, who has also had his fair share of struggles, was strong when he needed to be on the Kings power plays.
Something the Flyers excelled at in the opening period were their counter-rushes. They caught the Kings in transition consistently and that is exactly what lead to the game’s first goal. Dale Weise came down the wing and fanned on a...I mean he obviously faked a shot then centered to Provorov who rifled it by Jack Campbell to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. All I can say is, that was easily the most “Dale Weise assist” I think any of us could ever imagine.
Dale Weise finds Ivan Provorov for the goal! pic.twitter.com/yqTecrEGfJ— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 2, 2018
And that would be the only goal of the period, sending the Flyers to the second with the lead, and scoring the game’s first goal for the second consecutive game. While the Flyers speed in transition game was exceptional, their physical game was as well. They finished their checks nicely in the first, and played a strong, aggressive style. This is exactly what to look for when playing on the road especially.
That same aggressiveness was prevalent in the opening minutes of the second period as well. Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who only received a little over five minutes of ice time in his first NHL game on Tuesday, created a decent chance off a solid forecheck. Much of the opening minutes of the second period were a back and forth affair, and overall some pretty fun hockey! This hasn’t been something we’ve been able to say all that much lately, so it was absolutely a pleasant sight.
The Flyers would shortly thereafter go on the power play for the first time in the game after a holding penalty on Kyle Clifford. Despite generating some solid offense on the power play, including a nice shot by Travis Konecny, and a great move in close by Nolan Patrick. Alas, the Flyers would not score on the man advantage.
Speaking of the man advantage, the Kings went right back on it just moments later after a Konecny high stick on Anze Kopitar. The Kings would finally capitalize on the Flyers mistake as who else — former Flyer Jeff Carter — followed up his own rebound and buried one by Elliott. But, as the Flyers did against Anaheim, they answered quickly with a goal of their own coming off of a similar play. After great work by the duo of Patrick and Lindblom, Simmonds received a pass similar to the one Patrick got in Anaheim for the game winner, and issued the same result, creating a bounce-back goal and a 2-1 lead for the Flyers.
Wayne Simmonds gives the Flyers the lead! pic.twitter.com/8beYIje6eA— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 2, 2018
If you’ve noticed a theme so far it is the fact Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick, and even the entire second line, was pretty great in this game. That theme didn’t cease with the third goal as Voracek fought off some LA defenders and centered the puck to Lindblom who ... definitely kicked that puck in well darn.
Until ... it was called a goal! Yeah, I have no idea how that was allowed. It’s a great result for the Flyers but man, if I’m a LA Kings fan I am heated about that goal. Whether it deflected off a Kings player after the kick or not should be irrelevant, or if that is going to be allowed, just allow all kicks in general. But I digress. 3-1 Flyers, woo!
Lindblom scores but it certainly looks like a kick... pic.twitter.com/z0O3O2p99G— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 2, 2018
After some great saves by Elliott, Ilya Kovalchuk followed up a rebound after getting by Christian Folin and beat Elliott, to make it a 3-2 game. Despite some brief consideration by Dave Hakstol to challenge for goalie interference, he would not, and the Flyers would head to the final period up a goal.
The Flyers started out the third and final period with a fantastic scoring opportunity for Dale Weise, and if it was any other player, it probably results in a goal. Weise has surprisingly had a fair amount of solid scoring chances in the early going this season, but he’s been snakebitten as all hell. To Kings goalie Jack Campbell’s credit, it was a fantastic save. The Kings would catch another break moments later, as Scott Laughton went to the box for tripping, giving them a huge power play early in the third. The Flyers penalty kill unit would come up clutch yet again though, and bail out Laughton to keep the game 3-2 Philadelphia.
As expected, the Flyers went into their proverbial shell as the third period went on. But, while the Kings did get most of the scoring chances, the Flyers had some opportunities. Konecny was ahead of the field but at the end of his shift, as he could only fire a weak shot on Campbell. Jakub Voracek, however, would later get a clear cut breakaway, but he was unable to beat Campbell. To say the Flyers went into turtling mode in the third would be an understatement to be quite honest.
After a great shift by the third line killing an extended amount of time in the offensive zone with cycle offense, Sean Couturier found Claude Giroux ahead of the field and the captain gave the Flyers a 4-2 lead late in the game. Couturier has always been known as a playmaker offensively, but that was the first line center’s first assist of the year, and I’d assume the first of many given his history.
Giroux puts the Flyers up by 2! pic.twitter.com/gmMrtyKZV6— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 2, 2018
Down by two with over three minutes to play, Kings head coach John Stevens decided to pull his goalie and the Flyers made them pay right away. Robert Hagg fired one from all the way behind his own goal line, into the empty net, and secured a Flyers victory in LA. 5-2 the final. This is the first time this season the Flyers have won consecutive games, and they do it after a miserable three game losing streak. This team never ceases to surprise us, do they?