The Philadelphia Flyers split the season series with a win over the Los Angeles Kings on home-ice.
Looking to rebound from a lackluster 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers hosted the Los Angeles Kings at the Wells Fargo Center. This marked the second and final time these two teams would during the 2019-20 regular season, and the Flyers hoped to avoid being swept by the Kings for the second time in three years. Brian Elliott got the go-ahead from Head Coach Alain Vigneault in net and opposed Jack Campbell, who entered this game posting a 2.83 Goals Against Average and a .902 save percentage in 18 games played. Justin Braun also returned to the lineup and replaced Mark Friedman, who was sent back to Lehigh Valley a few hours before puck drop.
I can say with 100% certainty that the Flyers had a better opening period than they did in their first meeting with Los Angeles back in December, going from allowing four in that contest to zero in the initial 20 minutes tonight. Elliott performed better, too, saving all nine shots the Kings put on him. Progress! Philadelphia also left the period with a 1-0 lead thanks to NHL All-Star Travis Konecny, who beat Campbell with a nasty one-time shot from the high slot in the middle part of the frame off of a setup pass from James van Riemsdyk for his 16th tally on the year.
After having a goal waved off due to goaltender interference and killing off a penalty due to a failed challenge from Vigneault, the Flyers saw their advantage grow to two as Konecny potted his second of the night with around 17 minutes to go in the stanza. JvR made yet another outstanding pass to find TK in the slot, maneuvering his way passed a Los Angeles defender behind the net to hit the wide-open Konecny for the eventual goal.
Speaking of goals, Joel “Goal” Farabee followed that up with a tally of his own on the power-play to give Philadelphia a 3-0 lead. It may have been a bit on the luckier side, with Matt Niskanen‘s shot deflecting off of his skate and into the back of the net, but hey, a goal’s a goal, right? This kick-started a two-game goal streak for the once snakebitten Farabee and marked the first time during his NHL career that he’s found twine in back-to-back contests. LA pushed back a bit on a power-play chance towards the end of the period but couldn’t find a way to beat Elliott through 40 minutes.
It was a different story around the 45th-minute mark, though. Dustin Brown turned on the jets to make his way around Niskanen and ended up getting a shot past Elliott, putting LA within two early in the frame. While most of, if not all of the blame can be placed on Niskanen for allowing Brown to get around him, the Kings forward is no slouch when it comes to speed and could’ve blown by anybody in the Flyers defensive corps with wheels like that. Philly would quickly shut down LA’s comeback bid, scoring a goal on the man advantage compliments of JvR just three minutes later that went on to put the game and give the Flyers a 4-1 victory.
Though they could’ve brought a slightly better effort in the third, I thought this was a solid all-around game from the Orange and Black. Offense? Four goals from three different players. Check. Defense? 35 shots against. Eh, yeah, check, I guess. Goaltending? 34 saves. You bet. This is exactly the type of performance I expect to see from Philadelphia when facing an inferior team on paper. Hopefully, it’s a sign they won’t play down to their competition in the future. Also, any night that two guys like TK and JvR combine for five points means it’s probably going to be a good one for the Fly Guys.
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The Flyers are now 26-17-6 on the season! Next game is Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.