Kings' goaltender makes Quick work of Flyers

Posted: February 14, 2011

THE PUCK, spinning on its edge in the Los Angeles Kings' crease like a quarter, was there for the taking.

After the Flyers had been shut out for the first 52 minutes, Danny Briere lunged for the puck with his stick, knowing it might be the best opportunity they would have to score in the final 8 minutes.

Just as Briere reached the puck, it was smothered in the deep glove of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

Briere, exasperated and exhausted like the rest of the Flyers, could do little more than look up to the rafters and smile in disbelief. Along with Chris Pronger's blast that hit the post in the first 2 minutes of the game, it was as close as the Flyers would get yesterday afternoon.

Quick turned aside all 40 shots thrown his way to blank the Flyers, 1-0, handing them their fifth shutout of the season and their second in February.

"Well, you're not going to score five goals every game," Claude Giroux said. "We'll have that up and down [stretch], but we've been able to find a way to win games even when we don't score a lot of goals. I think it was a great example of playing a great game. Their goalie played well."

The Flyers tried to make it tough on Quick, but he was ready. Quick, who has helped the Kings to a 4-0-2 mark on their current 10-game swing away from the Staples Center, said he was expecting the Flyers' traffic in front of the net.

The Flyers directed 65 shots Quick's way, including 40 on net, 15 that were blocked, and 10 that missed the net.

"They created a lot of stuff in front," Quick said. "They are a good team and good at scoring goals, and that is one of the ways they go about doing it. As a team, we were prepared for that."

The Flyers still were able to hang on to their three-point edge in the Eastern Conference, as Pittsburgh lost at Madison Square Garden. The Kings, meanwhile, crept back into a tie for eighth place in the West, despite remaining in last place in the ridiculously tough Pacific Division.

It was the Kings' first win in Philadelphia since April 1, 1993.

The loss - both in style and substance - was a far cry from the 7-4 romping the Flyers put on the Kings on Dec. 30 in Los Angeles. Pronger chalked it up to the Flyers lacking consistency, as there was never a constant pressure on the Kings, who frequently broke up the play in the neutral zone.

"We had moments when we dominated and moments when we didn't," Pronger said. "Again, the game is 60 minutes. We've got to be prepared to play for 60 minutes.

"We had a number of great chances. I know I hit the post. We had a couple [Quick] didn't even know he stopped."

The Flyers stopped themselves during a crucial stretch of power plays in the second period, when Los Angeles took back-to-back bench minor penalties for too many men on the ice. Coupled with a tripping penalty by Dustin Brown, the Flyers had a five-on-three chance for 20 seconds.

Instead, Jeff Carter lost a key faceoff to the right of Quick. The puck was sent the length of the ice, wasting any pressure - and momentum - gained by the extra penalty call.

"It wasn't a long five-on-three, but winning the draw and clearing the puck frustrated the team and the crowd," Kings star Anze Kopitar said. "They started booing them after that happened and that's when we really thought we could shut them down."

One game after netting two power-play goals in one period, the Flyers were 0-for-4 with the extra skater.

"I think our execution wasn't the best," Briere said. "We threw a lot of pucks at the net. I thought we did a good job going to the net. We battled it out, but we just couldn't find it, couldn't find the loose pucks."

In the process, the Flyers wasted a near-flawless, one-goal performance from Sergei Bobrovsky, who was bested by Drew Doughty's shot that went off Mike Richards' skate 17 seconds into the second. Bobrovsky stopped 24 shots.

"We lost, so it's not that great," Bobrovsky said of his performance through a translator.

Afterwards, there was no talk of a lack of motivation, focus or effort. The Flyers left the ice feeling like they had tried every possible tactic - including jumbling their lines in the third period - to spark a win. It didn't happen.

It was the first time the Flyers have trailed in a game since losing at Tampa Bay on Feb. 1, a span of four games.

"You try different stuff and you just try to work harder," Giroux said. "And sometimes when you work harder, you don't work smarter. I think we were pretty solid the whole game. When we had a scoring chance, he was there to stop it."

Slap shots

Yesterday was the fourth time the Flyers have been shut out this season when posting 38 shots or more . . . The Flyers won 60 percent of the faceoffs, their fifth best performance of the season . . . Jody Shelley and Dan Carcillo both fought . . . Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux combined for 11 shots on goal.

For more news and analysis, read Frank Seravalli's blog, Frequent Flyers, at

www.philly.com/FrequentFlyers. Follow him on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/DNFlyers.

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