Jeff Carter is part of the problem why the Los Angeles Kings aren’t scoring.
Perhaps playing against his first NHL team will help him break out of a drought.
Carter will face the Philadelphia Flyers for the first time Saturday at Staples Center, where former Kings Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn will play as visitors for the first time.
Los Angeles (30-20-6) fell to 1-6-1 in its last eight games with Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh. Anze Kopitar had the Kings’ goal, giving him all three for the club in its last five games.
"We’ve got everybody here, and we’ve got to provide that spark on our own, and if not, we’ve got to make some changes," defenseman Matt Greene told the Kings’ official website. "Right now it’s up to us to get this going."
Carter’s five-game goalless drought matches his worst stretch of the season. His last six-game drought was from Feb. 9-19, 2012, with Columbus.
The winger led the Flyers (26-23-6) in goals in each of his final three seasons with the club before he was dealt to the Blue Jackets on June 23, 2011. Carter has scored a team-best 20 for the Kings this season.
The same day Philadelphia sent Carter to Columbus, it acquired Simmonds and Schenn from Los Angeles for Mike Richards.
Simmonds, who played his first three seasons with the Kings, is tied for second on Philadelphia with 38 points. Schenn is fifth with a career-best 31 heading into his first game against the team that drafted him fifth overall in 2009.
Richards hasn’t been as productive with the Kings as he was with the Flyers, although he helped Los Angeles capture the 2012 Stanley Cup. This will mark his second game against Philadelphia, as he assisted on the winning goal in overtime of a 3-2 road victory Oct. 15, 2011, in the last meeting between these clubs.
Richards has 35 points – none in the last five games.
Both teams figure to be desperate. The Flyers fell to 1-4-1 in their last six games after opening a three-game trip Thursday with a 5-3 loss to Anaheim.
"You’ve got to get ready for the next game," coach Craig Berube said. "We’ve got LA, who’s going to be hungry because they’ve lost a few games in a row so it’s going to be another tough game. We knew that coming on this road trip."
The Flyers have scored a power-play goal in five straight games thanks to Vincent Lecavalier’s first-period tally.
Kopitar’s goal Thursday also came on the power play, Los Angeles’ lone goal with the man advantage in its last 22 chances.
The Kings played their first game at Staples Center on Thursday since Jan. 13. Now they will be back in the building again less than 48 hours later.
"That’s what I told the guys," coach Darryl Sutter said. "You know what? You play right away again. You’ve got to reset it again."
Sutter may again start Jonathan Quick, who was pulled Thursday after allowing three goals in the first period. Quick is 3-1-0 with a 1.47 goals-against average in four career starts against Philadelphia.
The Flyers are 6-1-1 all-time at Staples Center.