Flyers-Kings Preview

BY foxsports • December 5, 2014

Between Jonathan Quick and Martin Jones, the Los Angeles Kings have an embarrassment of riches at the goaltender position.

That leaves no preferable option for the skidding Philadelphia Flyers when they visit the Kings on Saturday.

Quick and Jones have split the last four starts, with Jones' performances edging Quick's. He's posted two shutouts following Thursday's 4-0 victory at Arizona, one week after helping the Kings (14-7-5) win 4-0 in Minnesota.

''He's a pretty good goalie,'' said captain Dustin Brown, who scored his fifth and sixth goals Thursday. ''He's really good at smothering the pucks. He doesn't give up a bunch of rebounds, and as a result there's not a lot of second opportunities on him.''

Jones owns a 1.42 goals-against average in seven appearances but maintains that his accomplishments are indicative of the teams' defensive prowess, not simply his personal play.

"When we play like that, Quickie and myself are going to have games like that," Jones said. "We did a really good job eliminating the Grade-A scoring chances, and what we did give up are pucks we're expected to stop."

Quick also registered a shutout in his last appearance and owns a 2.15 GAA in 20 starts. The former Conn Smythe Trophy winner bounced back from consecutive losses to beat visiting Boston 2-0 on Tuesday with 31 saves.

A third consecutive shutout Saturday would match the Kings' longest streak in team history, which they accomplished Oct. 18-22, 2011.

Following a 6-5 shootout loss at Anaheim on Nov. 12 in which the Ducks took 49 shots, the Kings have held 10 straight opponents to 33 or fewer. They had surrendered more than 33 shots seven times in the first 16 games.

''When we're on our game - forechecking, getting the puck back and then not letting go of it - when we do that we kind of control the game,'' Brown said.

Brown's emergence has given a boost to the offense, which had relied solely on the contributions of a few players - Tyler Toffoli (20 points), Jeff Carter (18), Tanner Pearson (10 goals) - for a large portion of the season.

Brown has three goals in the last four games, matching his total from the first 22. Defenseman Alec Martinez has broken through for six points in his past five.

Philadelphia (8-13-4) is coming off one of its best offensive performance in an 11-game stretch that has seen one win. The Flyers managed four goals Wednesday but suffered a familiar outcome, losing in a shootout at Anaheim.

They're trying to avoid dropping seven in a row for the first time since an 0-8-2 skid Feb. 6-23, 2008.

"We're playing better hockey, and we know if we're going to start picking up more points as we go along we're going to have to keep playing this way," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "It seems like we're not playing the complete, full 60, but our effort is definitely there a lot more than it was in the previous games."

Steve Mason, who will likely start Saturday, has particularly struggled lately. He owns an 0-3-1 record with a 3.36 GAA in his last four games.

The Flyers amassed 43 shots and got an overtime goal from Brayden Schenn to defeat Los Angeles 3-2 on Oct. 28. Backup Ray Emery made 38 saves to improve to 4-0-1, but he's since gone 0-4-0 with a 4.14 GAA in five appearances.



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