The Philadelphia Flyers’ run of strong play started with a win over the Los Angeles Kings nearly two months ago.
Recent meetings at home haven’t gone nearly as well, particularly for Claude Giroux.
The captain looks to continue his own dazzling stretch and help the red-hot Flyers avoid matching their longest home slide to the Kings on Monday night.
Philadelphia (38-25-7) was sputtering through a 3-6-2 stretch before beating Los Angeles 2-0 on the road Feb. 1. That kicked off the Flyers’ 12-2-1 stretch that includes six wins over teams currently in playoff position, including a home-and-home sweep of Metropolitan Division-leading Pittsburgh.
Still, Philadelphia’s latest performance – a 4-1 win over St. Louis on Saturday – may be its most impressive since the Blues are tied with Boston for the most points in the NHL.
"We’re proving we’re a good hockey team," said Steve Mason, who had 32 saves against the Blues to improve to 10-2-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average in 13 games. "We’re beating the teams that, come playoff time, you’re going to have go through to get to the ultimate goal."
Production from Giroux continues to be critical. The star center has 24 points in this 15-game run, and he has 21 goals and 35 assists in Philadelphia’s victories.
Giroux, who had a goal and an assist in the win at Los Angeles, hasn’t scored a point in three career home meetings versus the Kings, with Philadelphia dropping the last two after falling 3-2 in overtime Oct. 15, 2011.
The Flyers haven’t lost three in a row at home to the Kings since Jan. 11-Nov. 8, 1973.
Wayne Simmonds also had a goal and an assist against the Kings in February. The right wing enters this matchup with five goals and two assists in four games, after doing likewise against St. Louis.
Mason, who had 35 saves in beating Los Angeles, should be back in net as the Flyers go for their first six-game winning streak since taking seven in a row from Dec. 2-15, 2011. He’s won four games during the current streak, compiling a 1.50 GAA with one shutout.
"We’re really playing like a team right now and that’s why we’re successful. It really is," coach Craig Berube said. "We’re coming. Our team is getting to where we need to get to be successful."
The Kings have followed a three-game slide with back-to-back wins, thanks in large part to Jonathan Quick, who has stopped 45 of 46 shots and two of three shootout attempts in that span.
The 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner’s latest effort put him in the record books, as his 24-save effort in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Florida gave him a club-record 172 victories.
"I’ve been very fortunate up to this point in my career," said Quick, who supplanted Rogie Vachon for the franchise mark, while his 30 shutouts are two shy of his record in that category.
Los Angeles’ 11 shutouts on the season match the team record set two seasons ago.
Quick, though, faced only 13 shots versus the Flyers on Feb. 1, but he’s stopped 72 of 74 shots in winning both his appearances in Philadelphia.
Ex-Flyer Justin Williams scored twice in the 2011 victory, giving him five goals in eight games there.
After this stop in Philadelphia, the Kings’ trip continues with visits to Washington and Pittsburgh.
Forward Jeff Carter will play his first game in Philadelphia as a member of the Kings. Carter spent his first six seasons with the Flyers, recording 181 goals and 162 assists in 461 games from 2005-2011.