Kings-Flyers Preview

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

impressive.

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

game.

“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

5-0-1 since.

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

a goal.

“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

meeting.