The Flyers learned the hard way on Sunday afternoon that more chances don’t always lead to more goals as the Kings beat the Flyers 1-0, behind 40 saves from Jonathan Quick.
Drew Doughty had the only goal of the game scoring before the twenty-second mark of the second period. The Orange and Black outworked and outplayed the Kings the entire game, but their inability to put at least one shot past Quick results in the loss, the fifth time the Eastern leaders have been blanked this year.
Within the first minute of the game, the Flyers were already dictating play. Early pressure from Philly’s forwards led to a Chris Pronger slapshot ringing off the inside of the right goal post just before one minute had gone by.
A few minutes later down near Sergei Bobrovsky’s net, Daniel Carcillo and Kyle Clifford decided to settle a disagreement by fighting. While neither player landed any serious blows, Carcillo was off-balance from the start and was lucky to have the bout go down as a draw.
The result of the fight gave neither team momentum as the game carried forward. However, the majority of the opening 20 minutes seemed to have taken place in the Flyers’ offensive zone. Their whole offensive scheme was to cycle below the net for a while, get a hard shot off from the point, and create chances off those rebounds.
The first of several questionable calls the Flyers received from the refs took place with about four minutes left in the first.
After a surge of offensive pressure from the Flyers, Danny Briere "tripped" Dustin Brown while chasing down a puck near the side boards. The penalty actually resulted in more shots on goal by Philadelphia rather than Los Angeles and the score remained 0-0.
The end of the first period finished without a goal despite twenty-seven shots being placed on net (LAK 12- PHI 15).
Bobrovsky’s only lapse of the day came in the opening moments of the second period — but unfortunately for the home team, it cost them the game.
Anze Kopitar found the puck in the corner after a board battle and turned around giving the puck to Doughty who was moving into the slot. Thanks to a Wayne Simmonds’ screen in front, Bob was unable to find the wrist shot — Doughty’s seventh of the season — as it rocketed past him giving the Kings the only goal they needed.
In an attempt to change the direction of the game, Jody Shelley agitated Kevin Westgarth into a fight. After the whistle was blown, Shelley pushed Westgarth to the ground in front of both benches. Instead of accepting the abuse, Westgarth decided to fight back. Westgarth landed more punches, but Shelley landed the bigger punches and earned a clear decision in the tussle.
The Flyers had several power play opportunities to score as the Kings were hit with a pair of too many men on the ice penalties. Unable to register on either man advantage opportunity, the frustrated home team ended up going into the final period down by a goal.
The final twenty minutes saw the Flyers’ offense do everything but score. Outshooting the opposition 15-6, the Flyers didn’t deserve the final score of 1-0.
It was Los Angeles’ first win in Philadelphia since 2000, its first regulation victory here since 1993, and the first shutout decision over the Flyers in the Quaker City since 1973. The 1-0 score was also the lowest between these clubs in Philly since Fred Shero’s team topped LA by the same score on October 10, 1976.
The only thing the Flyers’ offense could have improved on was creating better scoring chances. The whole 60 minutes seemed to consist of nothing but offensive chances, but the majority were shots from the point and shots from along the side boards. There weren’t many shots on net from the slot, odd-man rushes or flat-out breakaways. That’s not to say it wasn’t easy on Quick, whose head and body were on a swivel for large portions of the Flyers’ offensive thrust.
There were some absolutely unacceptable calls against the Flyers today. Briere’s tripping call in the first period wasn’t bad, but Pronger’s roughing call in the third period was horrible. After Jarret Stoll jumped into Pronger’s back from the blind side and pushed him into the boards, Pronger received a roughing call for pushing Stoll once in retaliation.
The fact that there wasn’t a charging, roughing, or boarding call on Stoll would have failed to make enough sense, but to turn around and give Pronger a roughing call in response was just absurd.
Notes: Until Sunday, LA had lost four straight in Philadelphia since 2000, only scoring two goals and were blanked three times…The Flyers went 1-1-0 against Los Angeles on the season (7-4 win at Staples Center on 12/30/10)…With the loss to the Kings, Peter Laviolette’s club fell to 2-3-1 against the Pacific division on the season (DAL 1-0-0, PHX 0-0-0, SJS 0-0-1, ANA 0-2-0, LAK 1-1-0)…Despite the setback, the Flyers still hold a 42-17-7 here against the Kings since 1967.