Kings bring an end to Flyers' winning streak

Flyers' Michael Raffl tries with Kings' Willie Mitchell for the puck during the first period. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)
Flyers' Michael Raffl tries with Kings' Willie Mitchell for the puck during the first period. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 26, 2014

Shaggy Flyers winger Jake Voracek thrust his arms into the air after tipping in Scott Hartnell's third-period floater from the point, somehow tying a game that seemingly belonged to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

But a little over two minutes later, Dwight King converted a two-on-one with Slava Voynov midway through the final period, giving Los Angeles a 3-2 victory at the Wells Fargo Center and ending the Flyers' season-best five-game winning streak.

"We gave ourselves a chance to win the game in the third period, but we didn't play a very good first and second period," said winger Matt Read, who got the Flyers within 2-1 with a goal 29 seconds into the final period. "When you play on your heels the first two periods and you're down 2-0, it's tough to come back on a good team like that.

"Playing 20 minutes isn't going to win a hockey game."

The loss, coupled with the Rangers' 4-3 overtime win over Phoenix, dropped the Flyers behind second-place New York and into third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers have two games in hand, and they will meet the Rangers in a second-place showdown Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

The Flyers, who allowed a handful of two-on-ones and were outshot by a 41-32 margin, put pressure on Jonathan Quick in the final frantic minutes, but the standout goalie stood tall.

Read's 20th goal, a deflection, woke up the Flyers, cut Los Angeles' lead to 2-1 and triggered thoughts of yet another comeback victory. Those thoughts grew when Voracek scored his 20th with 11:42 left.

Former Flyer Jeff Carter, in his first game at the Wells Fargo Center since he was traded in 2011, scored a goal and helped key the victory. The Kings dominated the first two periods - they had a 2-0 lead and a 33-18 shots advantage - before the Flyers came alive in the final 20 minutes.

Carter scored his team-high 25th goal on a blast from the left circle - the type that helped him average 38 goals in his last three seasons with the Flyers - early in the second period to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.

About a minute later, Vinny Lecavalier, alone in front with a wide-open net, took a pass from Brayden Schenn and ignited the red light and the horn, signifying a goal that would have tied the game at 1-1.

But a referee waved it off, and a video replay later confirmed Lecavalier's rare trifecta - his shot hit the right post, caromed off the crossbar, and then kissed the left post.

Backup goalie Ray Emery was having a spectacular game before allowing a soft goal late in the second period, handing the Kings a 2-0 lead.

Former Flyer Justin Williams knocked in a juicy rebound - Emery couldn't control Robyn Regehr's weak shot - and it put the Flyers in a deeper hole.

"I've got to have that," Emery said. "It was just a funny one that kind of takes a funny hop off me. I don't know what happened there. That's a bad goal. I've got to control that rebound."

On the game-winning two-on-one, a neutral-ice turnover started the Los Angeles' breakout, and King got behind defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

"One the forwards should have been back and teaming it up," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "They got a little too aggressive" down the other end.

Los Angeles avenged a 2-0 loss to Steve Mason and the Flyers in Los Angeles on Feb. 1. The Flyers were outshot, 35-13, and it was the lowest number of shots in a win in franchise history.

The Flyers' five game winning streak was against Pittsburgh (twice), Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis, teams with a combined .660 points percentage.


scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull

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