Kings and Richards Hand Flyers 1st Loss

Published on October 16th, 2011

JVR with a scoring chance

by Mike del Tufo

Saturday, October 15, 2011
The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime.  This was former Flyers’ captain Mike Richards’ 1st game back in Philadelphia after his surprising trade to the Kings on June 23rd.  He was in the Kings’ starting line-up and mostly received cheers but there were some boos in there as well.  It also marked the return of former players Simon Gagne and Justin Williams and coaches Terry Murray and John Stevens.  Former Flyers’ goaltending great Ron Hextall is also the assistant GM of the Kings. 

The Flyers had won their first 3 games of the season prior to this.

Jonathan Quick started in net for the Kings and Ilya Bryzgalov for the Flyers. 

Flyers forward combinations:
Giroux-JVR-Jagr
Briere-Simmonds-Voracek
Couturier-Read-Hartnell
Talbot-Rinaldo-Nodl

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Pronger-Carle
Timonen-Coburn
Meszaros-Lilja

The rough stuff started early as Flyers Zac Rinaldo and Kings Dustin Penner dropped the gloves at 0:24 of the 1st period following a big hit by Rinaldo on defenseman Drew Doughty.  Doughty would leave the game and not return.  His injury will keep him out for 7 to 10 days. 

Soon after, Flyers Danny Briere scored a power-play goal at 2:30.  He took a nice feed from Jaromir Jagr.  On the Kings’ 1st power-play, Mike Richards received a lot of boos as he carried the puck up ice.  Justin Williams scored on the Kings’ subsequent power-play at 11:29 to make it 1-1.  Gagne had the primary assist on the play.  There was a lot of special teams play as both teams took quite a few penalties.  There were 7 minors called in the 1st period.

A hit by Richards on Flyers Jakub Voracek in the 2nd period caused the game to get a little nasty again.  Richards had a big presence in this game whenever he was on the ice.  The teams exchanged more power-plays in this period with neither team having much success.  The Flyers had a number of bang-bang plays they were unable to convert.  Shots through two periods were 26 to 16 in favor of the Flyers.

The 3rd period saw a lot of back-and-forth action with few quality scoring chances as the teams tightened up defensively.  Justin Williams, however, struck again at 12:35 to give the Kings a 2-1 lead.  At 13:02, Mike Richards took a hooking call that the Flyers converted into the tying goal.  Flyers Matt Carle scored at 13:29.  The Flyers then took two late penalties with one stretching into overtime.

With one second left on the latter penalty, a minor on JVR for tripping, defenseman Jack Johnson was able to sneak the puck past Bryzgalov for the Kings’ victory.  Richards had the primary assist on the goal.

On the Kings’ win, Justin Williams said, “They came at us hard and quick and had some great saves there to keep the game tight.  We were able to get the lead.  That’s the way hockey is nowadays.  It’s up and down and a lot of momentum swings, especially to get a win in overtime.”

On the many Flyers’ connections on the Kings, he said, “I think there is a lot of familiarity here, right from our GM all the way down to the players.  There is so much familiarity with everyone.  It seemed somewhat like a playoff atmosphere for us.  People were yelling at the refs.  Guys were intense with each other.  Both teams wanted to win really bad.  It’s fitting that it went to overtime”

On Richards’ return, he said, “We wanted to win this for a lot of reasons.  Obviously, Mike being the top of the list.  I thought he got a warm reception early, then got booed the rest of the game.  That’s Philly.  If you’re not on their team they are going to boo you.  I know he appreciated the response initially and I know he’s happy to get that first assist on the game-winning goal.”

The Flyers next game is at Ottawa Tuesday vs. the Senators.

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