Taking a point home in the standings, the Philadelphia Flyers can’t help but feel slighted in an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings, 4-3.
Back-and-forth, the first period featured four goals and not a sustained lead in sight. First, Owen Tippett showed his patience on the odd-man rush, dishing to James van Riemsdyk for the first goal, 1-0. Then, Anze Kopitar tied the game four seconds into the Kings’ first powerplay opportunity, 1-1. Soon after, Kevin Hayes chipped a pass to Wade Allison, who finished like a true power-forward, scoring his rebound, 2-1. As quickly as the Flyers took the lead, Kopitar was there to erase it following efficient skating by Adrian Kempe, 2-2.
Too much time spent on the penalty kill didn’t cost Philadelphia in the second period. Officiating was not a strong suit, sending Rasmus Ristolainen and Nicolas Deslauriers to the box for questionable calls. The Flyers didn’t allow another goal from the ninth-best powerplay. After thinking for two minutes about a poor boarding call, Ristolainen provided another lead, settling down a pass through traffic by Morgan Frost before scoring; 3-2. Just before the end of the period, Samuel Fagemo tied the game following a turnover in the defensive zone, 3-3.
Trends didn’t change for the Philadelphia powerplay units. They couldn’t convert on the extra man advantage at the beginning of the third period. Carter Hart made big saves to earn a point toward the NHL standings. Pheonix Copley answered with a flurry of late saves to preserve the tie. A steady effort forced overtime against Los Angeles, a current playoff team.
In overtime, the Kings put early pressure on the Flyers, and it seemed Kopitar would score the hat-trick. He did not, and Philadelphia had life. Scott Laughton rang a shot off the post, then Copley made a tremendous save on Travis Sanheim. Kopitar tripped Tony DeAngelo in transition, but the referees didn’t make the call. On the odd-man rush, Kevin Fiala scored the 4-3 game-winner while DeAngelo received a game misconduct and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for letting the officiating in on his thoughts.
Let Them Back In (-)
Three separate times, the Flyers led in regulation. Twice, the lead disappeared as quickly as it came. Partly, the issues included the number of penalties taken.
“Other than the quick first one they scored, our guys did a really good job. It’s just, we kill the penalties, then we turn the puck over. After all the work we did killing the penalties, we turn the puck over and give them a free one.”John Tortorella; 1/24/2023
With the game tied in overtime, Philadelphia and Los Angeles had a chance to win in the final frame. Fiala scores the game-winner, but in the back end, Kopitar took DeAngelo down.
“It’s no penalty. No penalty. Got to skate; you got to get back. I don’t think it’s a penalty.”John Tortorella; 1/24/2023
DeAngelo emphatically disagrees, replying to being asked about the missed call:
“It’s not a thought. It’s a fact. It is what it is.”Tony DeAngelo; 1/24/2023
The debated non-call adds a lot of rhetorical context to the result of the contest. Clinching the game-winner was the first lead for the Kings. Cleaning up turnovers and penalties might’ve helped the Flyers win in regulation. Unfortunately, they allowed Los Angeles to stay in the game, paying for it in overtime.
More and more, Allison reminds me of Scott Hartnell.
It isn’t the red hair, though it helps the resemblence. Allison has a knack of outright maneuvering himself through the opposition with his high-energy style. His goal, fighting for a puck after a chip pass, displayed many similarities in style. On the finish, Allison fell. Anyone remember the Hartnell Down charity?
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers visit the Minnesota Wild on Thursday at 8pm.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)