A win isn’t necessarily always just a win.
For the Kings Monday evening in Philadelphia, it was one of their fastest, more aggressive, and all around complete performances of the season. One that snapped the Flyers’ five-game win streak, and one that propelled the Kings to their sixth straight win on the road, their third straight win overall.
The Kings came out firing from the start, namely the homecoming hero Jeff Carter, who ripped off four first period shots.
With no goals to show for 14 first period shots, the Kings were unscathed after 20 minutes, and built momentum while staying off the scoresheet. The Kings killed Philadelphia’s pair of first period power plays, surviving a handful of close Flyers scoring chances.
Alec Martinez headlined the Kings’ first period penalty kill duties, blocking two consecutive shots off the stick of Brian Giroux in the final minutes of the first frame.
The Kings would only up the pace in the second period, recording 19 shots on Philadelphia’s Ray Emery – the most shots the Flyers have allowed in a single period all season long.
Jeff Carter put the Kings on the board 1:49 into the second period, firing home a long-range rebound with a snap shot for his 25th goal of the season, finding the net in his return to Philadelphia since the Flyers dealt him to Columbus in June of 2011.
After the Kings controlled play throughout the period, Justin Williams gave the Kings a 2-0 lead in the closing minutes of the middle frame, as he crashed the net and knocked home a Robyn Regehr rebound, which Ray Emery botched and bobbled, giving Williams an empty net to swat home the Kings’ second goal of the night, his 18th of the season.
Entering the third period with a 2-0 lead, the Kings were facing a Flyers club that had won 11 contests this season when trailing after two periods.
Only :29 seconds into the third period, Matt Read tipped home a shot that also redirected off the skate of Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin, and trickled past Jonathan Quick to cut the Kings’ lead to 2-1.
The Flyers then tied the game, much like they scored their first goal: Hold the blue line, have a body in front, and put the puck on net.
This time around, it was Scott Hartnell who kept the puck inside the Kings’ zone for the Flyers, and Jakub Voracek who tipped the puck past Quick. Voracek’s goal tied the game 2-2 with 11:42 left to play in regulation time.
The game would stay tied for a short 2:18.
As Philadelphia tried to hold their zone once again, defenseman Slava Voynov chose to initiate pressure instead of sit back safely. Voynov hopped on the puck as soon as it came loose atop the Kings’ zone, and didn’t look back.
Voynov’s aggressive pursuit found him alone on a two-on-one with Dwight King.
Voynov fed King, and King delivered.
King beat a sprawling Ray Emery, who had no chance on the play, up high to give the Kings a 3-2 lead with 9:24 left in the third period.
Jonathan Quick would stymie Philadelphia’s final flurry of chances to close out the night with a 30 save performance, locking up a 3-2 Kings win.
The Kings are headed to Washington, where they’ll play their second game in less than 24 hours. They’re slated for a 4:00PM PST puck-drop with the Washington Capitals Tuesday afternoon at the Verizon Center.
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