Kings 4, Flyers 1: The winning streak is no more
Kings, Quick prove to be too much for Flyers once again.
It’s safe to say that the Flyers are tired of seeing Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings.
Quick made 36 saves and the Kings swept the season series with the Flyers with a 4-1 win at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night. The Kings improved to 11-1-1 when holding a lead after two periods and leaned on the NHL’s best penalty kill, which held the Flyers to just one power play goal on five chances.
The Kings limited the Flyers’ time and space in the neutral zone and did forced a majority of shots to come from the outside instead of the high danger areas. It was their first time giving up more than two goals since the 3-0 loss against Boston back on Dec. 2nd.
It wasn’t all bad for the Flyers in this one, though, as the 4-1 final score doesn’t do their effort justice. Though Quick was stellar in parts, the Flyers had plenty of golden scoring chances to pull even with the Kings when the game was within reach. Both Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds left glorious chances go by the wayside and the Flyers weren’t able to get any of the depth scoring they saw during the six-game streak.
The best chance early on came for the Kings as Oscar Fantenberg rang one of the post near the six minute mark, but the puck somehow stayed out of the net behind Brian Elliott as the Flyers dodged an early bullet.
Alec Martinez would open the scoring for Los Angeles with a slap shot directly off a face off at the 5:27 mark to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Torrey Mitchell picked up the lone assist on the goal.
Drew Doughty’s misplay of a bouncing puck gave Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds a two-on-one, but Simmonds was unable to finish the play as Jonathan Quick shut down the Flyers’ best scoring chance of the first half of the period.
Facing the NHL’s top-ranked penalty kill for the first time on the night, the Flyers generated three shots and a bunch of zone time, but were unable to find the back of the net.
Not long after the kill, it was the Kings making it 2-0 at the other end with a Trevor Lewis goal on after a quick breakout in transition. Nick Shore and Jake Muzzin picked up assists on the Lewis’ eight of the season coming at 16:46.
With 1:56 left and armed with another power play, the Flyers would cut the deficit to 2-1 as Jake Voracek found the back of the net, depositing a loose puck that caromed to his stick off a shot attempt from Giroux. Both Giroux and Shayne Gostisbehere picked up assists on the goal, Voracek’s eighth of the season.
An early Flyers power play to start the second took place without one Shayne Gostisbehere, who left the bench with trainer Jim McCrossin. He took a short shift to start the period but was able to return towards the end of the frame.
The second unit created a nice chance on a redirect from Jordan Weal, but the Kings’ penalty kill forced the Flyers to go without an equalizer despite the strong work.
It was a strong 20 minutes for Brian Elliott, making 11 saves as he was the more-tested of the two netminders in the middle stanza. There were more than a few dandies in those for the NHL’s reigning second star of the week as Elliott kept the Flyers within striking distance heading to the third period.
Michael Raffl nearly got the equalizer less than 30 seconds into the third, but Quick was able to stretch out and get a pad on a close chance right in the paint for the red-hot forward.
Dale Weise would draw the Flyers’ fourth power play of the night less than three minutes into the frame, the result of a boarding call to Los Angeles’ Adrian Kempe.
On the ensuing power play, the first unit would set up shop, but found sledding to be tough on Jonathan Quick, who robbed Gostisbehere on a one-timer and then sprawled out to deny Voracek shortly after.
Quick’s litany of saves would prove to be huge as Kempe exited the penalty box, grabbed the puck, and beat Brian Elliott to give the Kings a 3-1 lead at the 4:48 mark. It was Kempe’s 11th of the season and was assisted by Dustin Brown.
Not long after Kempe’s goal the Kings thought they had stretched the lead to three as Drew Doughty beat Elliott with Dustin Brown providing the screen in front. But Brown was deemed to have interfered with Elliott, and the goal was overturned.
Shortly thereafter, the Flyers would head to their sixth power play of the night with a chance to cut into the Kings’ lead. Wayne Simmonds was alone on the doorstep, but was unable to stuff home a cross-ice feed. It was a play that Simmonds finishes off more often than not, and a rare chance in-close for the Flyers in this one.
With 4:29 left Tyler Toffoli would give the Kings a 4-1 lead for real this time, finishing off a nice feed from Nick Shore. Toffoli broke free in between the Flyers’ defense in what became somewhat of a broken play after Claude Giroux went tumbling into the boards.
The rest of the clock would bleed away as the Flyers were unable to muster anymore offense to pull of a miracle comeback and extend their winning streak to seven games.
The Flyers will look to start a new winning streak when they host the Red Wings on Wednesday night from the Wells Fargo Center for an 8 p.m. puck drop on ... RIVALRY NIGHT.