Kings top Flyers 3-2 in shootout
November 18 2015 09:01 PM

The Los Angeles Kings’ Anze Kopitar (No 11) celebrates after his shootout game winning goal against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (AFP)

By Lisa Dillman/Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Kings never could quite embrace overtime and the shootout last season.
It was more like a cold, hard shoulder for the Kings and they missed the playoffs because of it. Now they’ve confronted it, head-on, and they’ve twice won this season in overtime and Tuesday the Kings beat the Philadelphia Flyers in a shootout, 3-2, at Wells Fargo Center.
It was the Kings’ Jonathan Quick making five saves in a wildly entertaining three-on-three overtime period. And there was Kings defenseman Alec Martinez ferociously back-checking to break up a potentially dangerous scoring chance. Finally, Kings center Anze Kopitar would decide the issue, the only player to score in the shootout, beating goalie Steve Mason.
Who knows how much longer they would have played had Kopitar not scored.
“That was pretty crazy. That was a fun game,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. “That was one of his (Quick’s) better games this year. There’s really nothing new to say about him because he does it all the time.”
One of Quick’s many highlight moments came when he stopped forward Claude Giroux on a breakaway in overtime with a textbook poke check. Kopitar picked up something else from watching that and kept it in the back of his mind.
“Because they’re not scraping the ice, it’s usually, or sometimes, a little bit bouncy,” Kopitar said. “So I wanted to make sure I have a strong move and I saw Giroux in OT, it looked like he fumbled it just enough where Jonathan got the stick on it.
“I wanted to come down there, pick a corner and fortunate for me this time it went in.”
The contest started with a pregame ceremony honoring the now-retired Simon Gagne, who played most of his 14 seasons with the Flyers and was a member of the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup championship team.The Kings are 5-1-0 on the road, the most victories and points through the first six road games in a season, a franchise mark. They wouldn’t have reached that plateau without a last-minute goal in regulation by left wing Milan Lucic, who scored at the left post when Quick was pulled for an extra attacker, tying it, 2-2, with 55.7 seconds remaining.
“Muzz (Jake Muzzin) did a really good job of keeping it in,” Lucic said. “I just changed sides, behind the net, and Kopi made a strong play up to the top and once again Muzz gets the puck through. “We get a lucky bounce off of Toff (Tyler Toffoli), a post. I think my hands were halfway up ... and (the puck) was just sitting there.”
Lucic has scored in three of the last four games. It was his sixth of the season. Scoring the other goal in regulation for the Kings was defenseman Jamie McBain, on a power play in the first period, which was his first since Feb. 5.
“It’s huge. You come out here to the East and it doesn’t matter how you do it, really,” Kopitar said. “Yeah, you’d like to finish it in OT or in regulation, but two points are two points. We have to keep on climbing, keep on improving. “We realized tonight wasn’t the prettiest game that we threw out there.”
The Kings have not forgotten their shortcomings in overtime and the shootout last season, and that reminder seems to have sparked them, not haunted them.
“Thankful, we got the extra point,” Coach Darryl Sutter said. “Last year we couldn’t, had trouble doing that. That’s why we missed the playoffs.
“That’s why I’m a big fan of three on three (overtime), because there’s no way teams that win shootouts should be in the playoffs ahead of teams that do it in regulation.”

Last updated:

There are no comments.

LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*