The big storyline coming into what turned out to be a 3-2 overtime victory by the Los Angeles Kings over the Flyers, was the return of Mike Richards, and I think he ended up being the storyline at the end of the game as well.
He took a penalty that led to the Flyers tying the game late in the third period, and then set up the winning shot in OT, like we had seen him do for the Orange and Black so many times before.
This Saturday night special started off with a bang… literally.
Zac Rinaldo levelled training-camp holdout and erstwhile franchise defenseman Drew Doughty (who left shortly after and did not return) and then dropped the gloves with Dustin Penner. This led to a Flyers power play, which Danny Briere capitalized on.
The Kings looked a bit sluggish to start the first period, perhaps due to their excessive traveling schedule. However, they quickly got into the game, due in large part to the many penalties both teams took. Justin Williams (yep, ex-Flyers) ended up scoring two, one on the power play (in the first period), and one even-strength (in the third period).
After the Williams goal, Matt Carle quickly tied the game up in the third, on a powerplay resulting from the aformentioned Richards penalty. Then, after a James van Riemsdyk penalty (are you sensing a theme here?), Jack Johnson scored the game winner in overtime from the “I faked a shot and put it right on your tape while you were in front of the net” pass from Richards.
By the end of the second period, I was sick of special teams. All the goals in this affair, except the Williams one mentioned above, were scored on the powerplay. Unfortunately for me, the powerplays and penalties kept coming, all the way into the overtime period. There were a total of 15 (one was a 4 minute) powerplays and a total of way too many penalty minutes.
The Flyers had a lot of missed chances, open nets that seemed to Quick-ly close (GET IT?!?!) and bouncing pucks that could not be corralled. The Kings also had some missed chances, hitting posts or having the puck glance off the outside (or top) of the net.
The Flyers’ undisciplined play ultimately cost them a win that was within grasp. But at least they got the loser point, eh?
Notes: Flyers were killed on faceoffs, again, with only Claude Giroux winning over half his draws. Mike Richards won 68% of his draws… Matt Read was flying, and overall looked really good… Richards received a standing ovation when a retrospective of his Philly career graced the ArenaVision to start the night, but ended up being booed every time he touched the puck the rest of the game…It was a tough game for Andrej Meszaros, who had trouble controlling and keeping the puck… The Flyers have gotten a point in all four of their games played… As the schedule starts to rev up in the next two weeks, look for Sergei Bobrovsky to get a start in net…Carle’s goal was his first since December 5, 2010.
Personal Notes: Thanks for bearing with me on this one. I was at the game, but not taking notes… This was a tough game for me to watch, as my two favorite Flyers for upwards of 10 years were playing for a different team. Gagne and Richards were two of the main reasons why I started really watching hockey and loving the Flyers. It was tough to see them in something other than orange and black.