The Philadelphia Flyers are on their Revenge Era tour and their next stop took them to Crypto.com Arena to face the Los Angeles Kings.
And as a good revenge game, it had everything: the first goal of the season for an embattled player, horribly wasted power play chances (ahem Flyers), and a last-minute goalie change.
Despite all that, Philadelphia closed out the California part of their trip with a 4-2 win as they head back to the East Coast.
Philadelphia Flyers at Los Angeles Kings
There was nothing spectacular about the first period for the Flyers, especially in the first 10 minutes. It was a last-minute announcement but intended starting goal Carter Hart was NOT going to appear between the pipes for their team. Instead, Cal Petersen with Sam Ersson as backup was the move from head coach John Tortorella.
Hart hasn’t played since Nov. 1 because of a mid-body injury, followed by his current illness.
Moving the puck was an issue for Philadelphia. The Kings started out being able to capitalize on breakaways while the Flyers couldn’t get out of their offensive zone. They struggled to move the puck against Los Angeles, who themselves were key in keeping the gaps tight in rush coverage.
But for the lack of movement, the Flyers’ lines know when to come in clutch. Five minutes left in the first stanza, former LA Kings member Sean Walker blocked a shot that sprung to Owen Tippett. Tippett fired it past Kings goalie Cam Talbot and the Flyers lit the lamp to make it a 1-0 game.
But Walker committed an error with 24 seconds left until the second period. A holding call on him against Alex Laferriere gave Los Angeles the first power play of the game.
Flyers end the first period on the penalty kill but with a 1-0 lead over the Kings. LA outshot Philadelphia 10-8.
The second stanza looked much better for the Flyers than the first 20 minutes on the ice. Petersen came in clutch when the team needed him as Philadelphia’s penalty kill unit gave him much-needed backup in the opening minutes. Scott Laughton‘s wrister five minutes into the period was stopped by Talbot but it signaled the energy Philly brought to this frame.
Tippett and Walker would team up again but this time Morgan Frost– yes the hot topic man himself- nabbed a fortunate bounce after a wrap-around off Jordan Spence. He rushed down the wing and had Talbot way out of position before that and bounced it in off his glove. It was the first goal of the season for Frost.
The Flyers were 0-24 when it came to the power play and at the 12:25 mark in the frame, Kevin Fiala was called for high-sticking against Nick Seeler, and off to the Bad Boy Box he went for a PECO moment in Los Angeles.
Four minutes later, Frost made it colder in Los Angeles for the Kings. This time it was the duo of Seeler and Travis Konecny with the assists as he tipped it in past Talbot to make it 3-0.
But the Kings manage to draw one back from the Flyers. Carl Grundstrom rips a distance shot past Petersen to make it 3-1. Assists on the goal coming from Trevor Lewis and Andreas Englund. It’s the sixth goal of the season for Grundstrom. Period two ends with a two-goal lead over the home team.
Final 20 minutes of hockey and 90 seconds in, Walker made a mistake with a delay of game call thanks to a puck sailing over the glass. Handing Los Angeles the power play meant that the Flyers’ penalty kill unit would be up for the second time that evening.
Los Angeles surrendered the next goal seven minutes in when Cam Atkinson capitalized on a Kings defensive zone turnover and found the back of the net for the eighth time this season.
Down but not out, Adrian Kempe got the Kings back within two goals with his seventh tally on the year. Quinton Byfield got his ninth assist during a six-game streak, but a late double minor against Trevor Moore for high-sticking effectively ended any hopes of a comeback.
The Flyers held 4-2 in the final as Los Angeles lost in regulation for the first time in the past nine games. Petersen made 35 saves in the contest while Frost, Tippett, and Walker each had two points in the win. Philadelphia now heads to face the Carolina Hurricanes in their final game of a road trip on Wednesday.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill