Kings Too Quick For Flyers
On that plane home for the reunion was Ron Hextall, Dean Lombardi, Michal Handzus, Justin Williams, John Stevens and Terry Murray. They are a good group of guys and is no wonder the Kings are having success throughout their organization.
Coach Peter Laviolette made some changes to start the game as he scratched Zherdev and had Giroux centering Carter and Richards on the first line. The real surprise move was Nodl centering Carcillo and JVR.
The Flyers started Sergei Bobrovsky who has not played in ten games. Bobrovsky was 7-1 with a 2.18 GAA and .926 SV% in his last eight starts. He looked good in the first period stopping 12 shots including one off a turnover with 16 seconds left in the period.
Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings was even better as he stopped everything the Flyers through at him in the first period, turning aside 14 Flyer shots.The Flyers came out strong in the first and put forth a much better effort than they did in the first against Carolina.
There were only three penalties in the first period, fighting majors to Dan Carcillo and the LA Kings Kyle Clifford at the 2:26 mark. Carcillo seemed ready to keep fight week rolling along and got things going early. He may have been a bit surprised by the 20 year old Clifford as he man handled Carcillo in the fight for the decision.
The other penalty came right after a great scoring opportunity for the Flyers, as Briere would take a lazy penalty and would trip an LA King player as he was trying to carry the puck out of the zone with under five minutes in the period.
The Flyers would kill that off and go into the intermission with the game scoreless. The Flyers would lead the first period in shots with 14 and in faces-offs going 18-2 in the face-off circle.
The second period started with the newly formed Giroux line. They would suffer an early set back when the King's Drew Doughty capitalized on a Mike Richards turnover beating Bobrovsky just thirteen seconds into the period to give the Kings the 1-0 lead.
A few minutes after the Kings goal Sean O'Donnell would take a shot in the throat but would be ok, he took some heavy hits earlier in the first and seems to have a target on him today. Seconds after the injury stoppage, the play would head up ice where Jody Shelley and Kevin Westgarth would come together and drop the gloves.
It was a Rock'em Sock'em kind of fight with both players landing punches with Shelley getting the slight edge for the win. The Flyers would go on a power play as a result of a too many men on the ice penalty during the Shelley Westgarth fight, the Kings and Quick would successfully kill it off.
The Kings again, this time 12:21 into the first, would again pickup a too many men on the ice penalty. The Flyers looked out of sync and unorganized on the powerplay, the shots they did get were turned away by Quick.
As the power play was ending the Kings would get called for tripping giving the Flyers a brief two man advantage. Again the Flyers would be out of sync resulting in easy clears for the Kings and boos from the hometown crowd.
The Flyers would put on more pressure in the last five minutes of the period, only to be denied by Quick who sent the Flyers into the second intermission scratching their heads. The Flyers would once again lead in shots for the period 10-7 but trailed the game 1-0.
The Flyers would get a chance just five minutes into the third when Dustin Brown went off for tripping as he did at the end of the second period. The Flyers again would fail to put the puck past Quick as he seemed to have their number today.
One of the bigger moments of the third was when Pronger was hit from behind into the boards by Jarrod Stoll who left his feet to deliver the hit. Pronger was none too happy as he saw no penalty was called and man handled Stoll by his jersey collar.
A scrum ensued and Pronger would come out of the ordeal with a two minute roughing penalty. The Flyer faithful would let the ref know how they felt loud and clear. With the Flyers needing a goal the Kings were the ones who put on the pressure with seven minutes left in the game causing Bobrovsky to come up huge at least three times.
No matter what the Flyers through at Quick he had an answer for it. The Flyers had quality chances just seemed not to be in position to bang home the loose puck in front. It would have helped to have someone camped out in front causing traffic.
The Flyers as a team a real bad at that and should take some lessons from their opponents who seemed to get plenty of traffic in front of Flyers net minders. It was the fifth time the Flyers were shutout this season, they still do not have a shutout of their own.
Bobrovsky had a strong game for not playing in ten days, he had a highlight save as he went from post to post in the splits to make a quick athletic save.
It doesn't get any easier for the Flyers as they look to put this game behind them. They will face two of the teams that give them the most trouble whether they are good or bad, the Tampa bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers, who they will face Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.
Sometimes when the Flyers struggle you wonder is it them or is the goalie just playing out of his mind ? Today the chances were there , the goalie was hot and the Flyers were shutout.
The one thing that was pretty glaring today was how empty it was in front of Quick's net. It was most noticeable on the power play when you have that extra guy to park in front of the net. How many times today did you see a flurry of shots and the puck just laying there , in the crease or just outside just to have a King Defenseman clear it.
They were out of position a lot in and around the net, it is the only explanation for not banging home one or two of those rebounds. They usually cycle the puck well on the power play but today they definitely looked out of sync and their timing seemed to be off just a tad.
Let's face it their power play has struggled all season and seems to have a strong game every once in a while. Special teams in the playoffs play a huge role and while the Flyers penalty kill is doing a good job they will need their power play to be consistent if they want any chance of winning the Cup this season.