PHILADELPHIA – The Kings left the Wells Fargo Center on a lucky break to hold on to third place a little longer. On a waved off goal to the Philadelphia Flyers, Jonathan Quick and his team broke a 2-2 tie in the third to eventually win 3-2 in regulation on Tuesday night. The Los Angeles goaltender stopped 30 shots on goal putting the Flyers on the hot seat holding third place in the Metropolitan division by two games with 11 left to play.
As the Kings sat on a two-game winning streak their road trip through the mid-Atlantic area is set with teams that are fighting for position in the metro division. The Flyers sit two games ahead of the wild card spot that four teams are currently fighting for. Philly could always depend on their physical toughness to get them through the 30 minutes of play. It seemed to work in the first period as they threw themselves around the boards giving the Kings a hurt. It didn’t stop them from their hot streak of getting pucks to the net facing Ray Emery for the Flyers.
Emery and the Flyers defense made it a stalemate through the first period, where they saw 14 shots and two power plays, but denied the Kings the opportunity to move ahead early. The same could be said for Philadelphia as the Flyers failed to convert on a bad penalty that Los Angeles took on holding the stick of Braydon Coburn.
The Kings made up for the mid-period mistake and struck first on Jeff Carter’s rebound reception from Martinez, firing the puck behind the back of Emery to give him his 25th and third point in four games. The Kings set the pace from there and took the game to the Flyers end making their way with ease, but no vulnerability from Emery in the first four minutes.
Philadelphia’s best chance came midway into the period where a two man play between Braydon Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier ended with Lecavalier shooting the puck on the high slot that sent the goal horn off. It was immediately waved off, as the referees heard the ping of the crossbar, but couldn’t definitively call it a no goal. Video evidence showed the puck went under the crossbar and was beyond the goal line in the air, but landed back in the crease. The goal was later concluded to be no good leaving the Flyers bench and the fans heated.
Los Angeles played off the Flyers frustration and went back to attacking their weak defense setting up more shots for Emery to deal with. LA finally made a shot count at 17:28 where Justin Williams scored on a shot from Anze Kopitar. It came to Robin Regeher at the crease to pass the puck across to Williams notching his 18th of the season. In all, the Kings took 19 shots on goal and with a two-goal margin another victory was in the works.
The Flyers had different opinions on that subject as they made a big turnaround at the start of the third where scoring fast was the order of the moment. Matt Read got the puck running on the ice when he scored on a tip in from Braydon Coburn’s shot mid level and caught the stick of Read. This gave him his second 20 goal season in the three years playing with Philadelphia.
Down by just a goal the Flyers kept the game in front of Quick and the Kings, but the man to man coverage dominated every shot Philadelphia put on them in the period. Their break came eight minutes in as Scott Hartnell’s shot from the blue line deflected off Jakub Voracek to tie the game and give the Czech his 20th goal as well. The Kings ran up the numbers and put a play that caught the Flyers off guard. Defenseman Slava Voynov and Left Winger Dwight Kings took off on a 2 on 1 that saw Voynov sending the pass on the stick side of Emery to launch it high towards Voynov to break the score. King’s 13th sent morale through the LA ranks sky high where Quick and his five man crew played the remainder of the game like a playoff match.
The strength from Los Angeles proved to be too much for the Broad Street Bullies who were all out of options for a force of overtime and accepted defeat. The win gave Quick his 24th on the year and a .938 save percentage. Emery took his first loss since January 23, as the second string goaltender made 38 saves against Los Angeles where seeing the last of the Hamilton Ontario native isn’t in the cards. The Flyers still have time to make up for their mistakes on the night while the Kings march on with a three-game streak to avenge a home loss as they visit the Capitals.