The Los Angeles Kings were pleased about getting a victory at
the midpoint of the longest road trip in franchise history. Getting
one to start the second half of it would probably be even more
The Kings will take the ice Sunday against the East-leading
Philadelphia Flyers, who they haven’t beaten in regulation on the
road in nearly 18 years.
Los Angeles (29-23-3) improved to 3-0-2 on this trip with
Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Washington. Andrei Loktionov scored the
tiebreaking goal early in the third period as the Kings dominated
after allowing Alex Ovechkin to score on the first shot of the
“They get another goal in that first period then the crowd’s
bumping. It’s like having an extra player on the ice,” said Wayne
Simmonds, who had two assists. “For us to endure in this game early
and to come out late like that, it gives a lot of confidence.”
The Kings will need to be confident since Philadelphia (36-13-5)
enters on a four-game home win streak. The Flyers have been
outstanding on the penalty kill over their last 15 games, allowing
four goals in 47 chances (91.5 percent).
Philadelphia hasn’t lost in regulation to Los Angeles since a
4-0 loss on Oct. 21, 2003. Dustin Brown, a rookie at the time, is
the only remaining King who played in that game, and the Flyers are
The Flyers are also 9-0-1 in their last 10 home games against
the Kings since a 3-1 loss April 1, 1993. The lone win for Los
Angeles in that span came 3-2 in overtime March 23, 2000.
Mike Richards had two goals and two assists in Philadelphia’s
7-4 win at Los Angeles on Dec. 30. The Kings allowed their most
goals this season, including six through two periods.
That was also the only contest started by playoff hero Michael
Leighton for Philadelphia. Rookie Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian
Boucher have both rotated, and coach Peter Laviolette has not
announced Sunday’s starter.
Bobrovsky, 7-1-0 with a 2.18 goals-against average in his last
eight starts, has never faced the Kings. Boucher is 4-0-0 with a
1.23 GAA in his last four starts against them.
“I think with the way he’s been rotating us it’s easy to stay in
it and stay ready,” Boucher told the Flyers’ official website. “If
you don’t play a game or if you don’t play two games, you know
you’re going to eventually get in there.”
All three wins on this homestand have come by one goal for the
Flyers, including Thursday’s 2-1 victory over Carolina. The
Hurricanes are in a similar position to the Kings, hovering near
eighth in the East.
“It seems lately that’s all those games we’re playing, which is
good coming down the stretch and getting ready for the playoffs,”
winger Danny Briere said. “We’re going to be facing a lot of teams
that are fighting for their lives too, like Carolina tonight
hanging on to eighth place.”
Anze Kopitar and former Flyer Michal Handzus each had a goal and
an assist Saturday for the Kings. Kopitar had gone 10 games without
“My shoulder’s gotten a little rusty because I haven’t had my
arms in the air for a while,” Kopitar said. “I’m ready to get the
rust off it and celebrate a little more.”
Neither Jonathan Quick nor Jonathan Bernier have ever started at
Philadelphia. Quick is 1-1-0 with a 1.94 GAA in two starts while
Bernier gave up six goals before being pulled in the December