Saturday, February 01, 2014

Flyers tie franchise low in shots, Mason blanks Kings

Los Angeles, CA -- The second line segment in the Triangle of Death came against a hungry, super-charged Kings club still searching for lost offense.

Despite a ridiculous 35-13 shot disadvantage, Steve Mason rode to the rescue, becoming the first Flyers netminder to record a shutout in LA since Pelle Lindbergh as Philadelphia claimed an improbable 2-0 victory on Saturday evening.

Wayne Simmonds celebrated his first game on the road against his former team with a goal (his 100th career) and assist, Claude Giroux added a crucial late power-play score and the visitors shook off a 5-3 loss in Anaheim two nights prior in the opener of their California sojourn.

"I think it's been a while that we won a game on a low score," Giroux said. "I think, defensively, we had a good attack. We're a fast team when want to, so we've just got to keep skating out there."

The 13 shots was the fewest for the franchise since doing so in a 4-1 loss at Washington on Dec. 14, 1990, while Lindbergh needed to make only 29 stops to post a 2-0 victory on February 5, 1983.

Perhaps lulled to sleep by lack of work, Jonathan Quick stopped just 11 shots in the setback, as Los Angeles was held scoreless for the third time in its last five games. 

"You have to score to win," Kings head coach Duane Sutter said. "You can't get frustrated. You can't allow guys who are playing well to get frustrated. You have to see if they can work their way out of it."

The hosts didn't exactly come out firing in a scattershot first period, outshooting the visitors by an 8-4 count but neither side produced a red light.

Hindered by slow defensemen and backcheckers whose skates were encased in concrete, Mason kept his club in the game until a gift goal opened the scoring. Giroux sent a cross-ice pass to Vincent Lecavalier at the right circle. Lecavalier fooled Quick and the LA defense, sending the puck over to Simmonds, who had to take a second to gather the puck before sliding it home 7:48 into the second.

"So I've been waiting for that one for a while. I got my first one here, and my 100th one in this building," Simmonds said. "That was pretty nice. I think I've been sitting on 99 for part of the last five games. It felt good to get it, for sure."

The Kings had a chance to get within one when Justin Williams emerged from behind the net and fired a shot, but his offering rang off the far post with under four to go in the third.

Mason helped himself during a frenetic sequence while short-handed after the midway point of the third period, making at least three saves while prone in his crease. That came minutes after he stood tall at the right post to squelch a Jeff Carter one-timer.

Matt Greene went off for impeding Jake Voracek's progress inside of three minutes to play, and Giroux tallied a power-play goal with 1:58 remaining. Mark Streit kept the puck in the zone with a spin move at the boards along the right point, and worked it around the boards. Simmonds raced to the corner and laced a pass back to Scott Hartnell.

Giroux received the puck on the other side of crease and wristed a shot to beat a sprawled-out Quick for the crucial insurance tally.

The Kings pulled Quick and Erik Gustafsson took a slashing penalty with 18 seconds to go, but the hosts could not convert with the extra attacker.

Notes: Philly improved to 7-1-1 on the road against the Kings since Staples Center opened in 1999 ... Los Angeles defenseman Robyn Regehr played in his 1,000th NHL game ... The Flyers were without defenseman Kimmo Timonen for the first time all season due to a lower-body injury ... The Flyers have scored a power-play goal in each of their last six games ... Carter and Brayden Schenn played against their former teams for the first time ... It was the first time the teams have played since Oct. 15, 2011, and was the Flyers' first visit to LA since Dec. 30, 2010, when they came out with a 7-4 victory.

No comments: