With 77 points in the bank, Philadelphia leads the Eastern Conference and the Kings trail near the middle of the league with 63 points. The last time the teams met the Kings lost out to Philadelphia in a high scoring eleven goal game where the Flyers won 7-4.
The Kings threw the standings and their history with the Flyers out the window. Proving that they are still in the playoff race the Kings leaned on the old sports adage: It all comes down to who wants it more.
After a goalless first period, star Defenseman Drew Doughty scored his seventh goal of the season assisted by Anze Kopitar and Wayne Simmonds.
Jonathan Quick was iced in their afternoon game the day prior against Washington Capitals. Fans were outraged that Kings Coach Terry Murray iced Quick in the game when just 1:06 into the first period the Kings were down by one. Fans assumed the early slip up by backup goalie Jonathan Bernier would follow through the game.
Murray’s questioned decision paid off when Bernier did not let the Capitals early goal compromise his game. The Kings went on to win when Bernier didn’t let another goal by: saving 22 of 23 goals in total.
The nearly impossible game coming up against the Flyers the following day tacked another shutout to Quick’s record with a perfect save percentage.
This trip was like coming home for LA Kings staff since both Head Coach Terry Murray and Assistant Coach John Stevens both have NHL ties in Philadelphia.
“Nobody sent a beer to my room. No Philly cheesesteak, nothing at all,” Murray kidded about his “inhospitable” welcome to Philadelphia. “There’s a good feeling coming back here. This is a place I was a part of for a long time.”
Stevens relayed Murray’s sentiments.
“It’s exciting for me to go back,” said former Flyers Coach John Stevens, “but extremely tough because they’ve shown to be the top team in the East.”
Stevens was the head coach in Philadelphia for 14 years, moving to an assist coach position in LA after he was fired from the Flyers.
The Kings went eighteen years without beating the Flyers in regulation in Philadelphia, but ended that losing streak with a 1-0 shutdown.