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CHECK MATE

Kings snap Flyers win streak with a couple goals from familiar names

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 9:55 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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CHECK MATE
It\u2019s been awhile since Steve Mason had to steal a game for the Flyers.\r\nGood thing he was up for the task Thursday.\r\n\r\nIn a game in which the Flyers may have got a little too comfortable after an early lead, Mason made 33 stops, several that rang 10 bells, and backstopped the Flyers to their fourth consecutive win \u2013 4-3 over Dallas - on what was considered by many to the hockey schedule equivalent of the tilt-a-table game Labryinth.

PHILADELPHIA – Well, you can’t win them all.

The frustrating thing is, there were plenty of chances for the Flyers to defeat the Los Angeles Kings, but not enough of them materialized in a 3-2 loss that snapped a five-game winning streak.

There were four posts hit – and we’re only counting the three bars hit on one shot by Vinny Lecavalier once.

There were other scoring chances that were just inches away and then there was Jonathan Quick, the Kings goalie, who made 30 saves.

But in the end, the Flyers can’t expect to win games with a 20-minute effort.

That’s because the first two periods were subpar.

“I think the first 40 minutes we didn’t compete hard enough,” said coach Craig Berube. “We let them outwork us and that was the difference in the game.”

The Flyers brought it and brought it hard in the third – as they always do – and erased a 2-0 deficit that stared at them after two periods.

But effort cost them in the end as Kimmo Timonen tried to make a play at the Kings blue line and was beaten to the puck by Slava Voynov who found Dwight King on a 2-on-1 for the game winner.

“We were battling for it at the point and they won the battle,” said Scott Hartnell, who was also in on the play with Timonen and Voynov. “They made a good pass over and a good shot. You can’t give up those chances like that late.”

And yet, they did – which is why they find themselves licking their wounds for the first time in two weeks.

But first they almost pulled off another third period miracle.

The Flyers got third period goals by Matt Read and Jake Voracek – both on deflections in front of Quick – to tie the score and it seemed like they were headed for yet another dramatic third period comeback, but it was all for naught as their late game push came up empty.

“It seemed like we didn’t have the skating legs today for the first 40 minutes,” Timonen said. “They’re a hard working team, and when you don’t skate you’re going to be playing defense all the time, and that’s what happened.”

As such, through the first two periods, Ray Emery kept the Flyers in the game making 31 of his 38 saves in just 40 minutes.

“He kept us in the game and gave us a chance,” Berube said. “We tied it up and had an opportunity and made a mistake and they capitalized on it.”

A lucky bounce led to the Kings first goal by Jeff Carter as a shot by Alec Martinez hit off of Mark Streit’s skate and caromed to a waiting Carter at the side of the net and Emery had no chance.

The Kings made it 2-0 late in the second period when an easy shot by Robyn Regher that appeared to be headed wide of the net was stopped by Emery, but it took a crazy hop off his waffle pad and went right to Justin Williams for the put back goal.

“I’ve got to have that,” Emery said. “It’s just a funny one, kind of takes a funny hop off me.  I don’t know what happened there. But it’s a bad goal. I’ve got to control that rebound.”

Streit, Claude Giroux and Braydon Coburn all hit posts and Lecavalier had the most heartbreaking shot of the season go against him.

Jeff Carter scored a goal in his return to Philadelphia as the Kings stopped the FLyers five-game winning streak.

With a wide open net in front of him, Lecavalier partially fanned on a shot from in front of the net but still got enough on it to send the puck toward the goal.

It hit the right post, bounced up in the air, nicked the crossbar and darted to the left where it hit the far post before landing harmlessly aside.

It was that kind of game for the Flyers.

“Honestly, I wasn’t sure [what happened]," Lecavalier said. "I thought maybe it hit the back of the cross bar, the back of the net under the bar. Obviously I couldn’t believe it. I don’t think I have ever seen three posts. I’ve seen two, but three…I guess it happens. There’s nothing we can do about it.”

And the night got worse as the New York Rangers pulled off a dramatic comeback against Phoenix and won in overtime to leapfrog the Flyers (38-27-7, 83 points) into second place in the Metropolitan Division by one point.

The silver lining for the Flyers is they still have two games in hand on New York and meet them in what could be a playoff preview Wednesday in New York.

“Obviously every game is huge,” Hartnell said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. It’s a tough building to play in… and they’re playing good hockey as well so we’re going to have our hands full. It’s going to be a big effort. We’re going to need big efforts from our best players. We’re going to need to play a clean game.”

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 23 16 6 1 61 57 33
2 TBL 22 14 6 2 77 60 30
3 PIT 19 13 4 2 69 44 28
4 NYI 20 14 6 0 68 57 28
5 BOS 22 13 9 0 57 54 26
6 DET 20 10 5 5 55 49 25
7 TOR 21 11 8 2 67 63 24
8 OTT 19 9 6 4 52 50 22
9 NYR 20 9 7 4 57 58 22
10 WSH 20 9 8 3 56 54 21
11 NJD 21 9 9 3 53 61 21
12 FLA 18 7 5 6 40 47 20
13 PHI 19 8 9 2 57 60 18
14 CAR 20 6 11 3 48 62 15
15 CBJ 20 6 12 2 49 72 14
16 BUF 21 6 13 2 36 70 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 19 7 22 7 29
C. Giroux 19 6 18 8 24
B. Schenn 19 7 8 7 15
W. Simmonds 19 8 6 5 14
M. Streit 19 4 9 5 13
S. Couturier 19 4 4 -2 8
M. Read 19 2 6 -2 8
M. Del Zotto 18 2 6 1 8
M. Raffl 12 6 1 2 7
V. Lecavalier 12 2 4 -1 6
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 4 6 1 .913 2.86
R. Emery 4 3 1 .897 3.22
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