The Flyers meet up with the red-hot Los Angeles Kings, looking to break their franchise-record 13 game losing streak. The Flyers seek to bring in some grit with rookie Isaac Ratcliffe, who will play in his first-ever NHL game. Will grit and a 6’6″ winger be enough to cool off the Kings, or will they need to hope for another snowstorm?
The first period started out with a lot of energy from both teams. Kings won the opening face-off, and we were underway. Travis Konecny had a beautiful wrist shot 30 seconds in, saved by Jonathan Quick. Flyers continued to play aggressively, but after a missed call for the Flyers, Gerry Mayhew would head to the penalty box for interference on Tobias Bjornfot at 15:06. Thankfully for the Flyers, the Kings’ powerplay was unsuccessful and only produced 4 shots on goal.
Continuing to make his presence known, Gerry Mayhew scored his third goal of the season on a super saucy pass from Rasmus Ristolainen. Flyers were now in the lead, 1-0.
Rookie Isaac Ratcliffe, playing in his first game, made sure he got everyone’s attention with an explosive hit at 9:10, getting a reaction from Kings’ Brenden Lemieux. Play continued on, however, and the Kings would get a great chance but catch iron at 5:42. With 3.7 seconds left in the period, Kings’ Matt Roy takes an interference penalty for a hit on Max Willman.
Kings led in shots (11-7), but the Flyers lead where it counts 1-0 at the end of the first.
Starting the second period off with a power play, the Flyers tried to get momentum going their way. James van Riemsdyk had a great chance set up in his “office,” just get snubbed by Jonathan Quick yet again. The powerplay is unsuccessful, something Flyers fans know all too well about this season. Almost immediately after the power play ends, Scott Laughton is sent to the penalty box for hooking at 16:41. The Kings’ power play mirrors the one they had in the first period, coming up short of a goal.
For a few minutes here, there was not a lot going on. A lot of puck battles along the boards and a lot of turnovers. Things finally started heating up again for the Flyers when Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny rushed past the Kings’ defense and ended up with a 2 on 1 situation. Laughon passes to Konecny, who flubs it but still gets a shot on goal. Claude Giroux then lasers the puck right onto Quick’s pads, ricocheting it right to Cam Atkinson, who scores his 16th of the season. With that goal, Atkinson had now officially passed his goal total in all 56 games last year, doing it in just 43 games. The Flyers now lead 2-0.
The Flyers at this point were red hot, with many chances on net. Isaac Ratcliffe gets his first good look of the game at 5:36. This does not last long, as a mess-up from Konecny led to a Victor Arvidsson score on a tic-tac-toe goal with Sean Durzi. Kings cut the lead in half 2-1 and cut the red hot momentum from the Flyers.
The Flyers still were holding on to their lead (2-1) and led in shots (14-12).
The third period started out with both teams seeming like they were slowing down from the previous periods. The Flyers catch a break and get a delayed penalty call on Olli Maatta for high sticking Cam Atkinson at 18:43. The main chance the Flyers had on this power play was a minute in from Oskar Lindblom, whose shot was saved by Quick, yet again. The power play goes 0/2 for the Flyers at this point, with a lot of game left. Nearly 6 minutes after the Flyers’ power play, the Kings head to their own power play sending Oskar Lindblom to the box for holding at 11:03.
With a face-off win in the Flyers zone, Cam Atkinson gets a breakaway and scores a shorthanded goal at 10:54. Atkinson now has 17 goals on the season.
The 3-1 Flyers lead is short-lived, however, with Arvidsson scoring a powerplay goal at 10:09. The Kings end up going 1/3 for power plays, which is the exact same success level they had against the Flyers the last time they matched up. Carter Hart makes an insane save on the Kings at 5:48, showing that he is not counting the Flyers out of this game. The Kings take advantage of a stoppage at 2:24 to pull Quick and bring on an extra attacker. Great coaching decision on the part of the Kings because the extra attacker is successful as Kopitar scores with 37.4 seconds left in the third period. With no answer in the short amount of time left in the period, the game heads to overtime.
The score is tied 3-3, Kings lead in shots for the period (17-13).
The Flyers start out with Atkinson-Giroux-Provorov, and the Kings start out with Kempe-Kopitar-Doughty. The Flyers gain control immediately, with Cam Atkinson having a great look less than a minute in. After changing players, Scott Laughton pots one in behind Jonathan Quick at 2:38. Officials look at the goal for possible interference by Ivan Provorov, but the goal is called clean, and the Flyers go on to win their first game of 2022.
Cam Atkinson very obviously had an ‘All-Star’ caliber game today, and it did not go unnoticed. Atkinson scoring two goals and being a leader on the ice and on the bench had some words about this game.
“It’s been a long time coming. One of those things where I didn’t want to lose this one.”Cam Atkinson, 1/29/2022
Atkinson was not the only one with a noticeable game. Interim head coach, Mike Yeo, was impressed by rookie Isaac Ratcliffe‘s first game in the NHL. Ratcliffe ended the game with 3 shots on goal, 4 hits, and 9:02 in ice time.
“I thought that was a really good first showing for Ratter there.”Mike Yeo, 1/29/2022
The Flyers stay on Broad Street and welcome the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, February 1st, at 7:00 pm for their last game before the All-Star break.