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Preview: Game Day #38, Philadelphia Flyers @ Los Angeles Kings

Hello, even-numbered year!

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia FlyersLos Angeles Kings

Time: 1:00 Pacific

TV: Fox Sports West, Comcast Philadelphia

Enemy ReadingBroad Street Hockey

Los Angeles Kings

Lucic-Kopitar-Toffoli
Pearson-Shore-Gaborik
King-Lewis-Brown
Mersch-Andreoff-Nolan

McNabb-Doughty
Muzzin-Martinezy
Forbort-Ehrhoff

Quick
(Enroth)

Scratched: Weal, McBain Injured: Carter, Clifford, Greene

Philadelphia Flyers

Raffl-Giroux-B. Schenn
Voracek-Couturier-Simmonds
Read-Laughton-Umberger
VandeVelde-Bellemare-White

Streit-Schultz
Del Zotto-Gudas
Gostisbehere-Medvedev

Neuvirth
(Mason)

Scratched/Injured: Lecavalier, Manning, L. Schenn

Stats & Such
(Fancy stats courtesy War on Ice)

Team Kings Flyers
Record 24-11-2 15-14-7
Points 50 37
Division Rank 1st
6th
Streak Won 4
Lost 2
Goals For/Game 2.76 2.17
Goals Against/Game 2.22
2.78
ES Goal % 53.1 47.6
ES Shot %
53.8 47.3
ES PDO 99.8
100.1
ES Corsi % 56.1
49.9
ES Fenwick % 55.4 48.6
ES Scoring Chance % 55.3 48.8
ES High-Danger SC % 53.0
49.9
Power Play % (Rank) 19.8 (12th)
16.0 (27th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 83.5 (7th)
77.6 (24th)
Starting Goalie (tonight) Quick Mason
Goalie Record 21-9-1 7-10-5
Save % .922 .910
ES Save % .931
.938

Notes:

  • Hey everyone! It's the first game of 2016, which is an even-numbered year! If it follows past even-numbered years, that means the Los Angeles Kings are going to have a very good June. If it doesn't, it means the San Francisco Giants won't win the World Series. Win-win!
  • I was updating the numbers in the above stats table from John's preview of Kings-Flames, and in doing that, I realized that the Philadelphia Flyers aren't that different from our friends up in Calgary. Their special teams are dreadful, though at least Philly isn't last in the NHL in both PK and PP. Their possession numbers are below par, but their goal differentials are worse.
  • The problem for Philadelphia is that their 37 points leave them six points out of a playoff spot because they don't get to play in the Pacific. Six points doesn't seem like much, but nearly halfway through the year, there isn't a whole lot of time to rebound.
  • Steve Mason is having one of the great "WTF?" goaltending seasons in recent memory. His even strength save percentage is outstanding, at .938. How on earth does being fifth in the NHL in even strength goaltending translate to seven wins in 22 starts? Start with his shorthanded save percentage of .775, which is last in the league by a significant margin. (Reimer and Rask, next-worst, are in the .825 range.) If that continues over the full season, it'd be the worst shorthanded goaltending performance since the lockout. Weird.
    [EDIT: Just announced: Michal Neuvirth is starting today. His even strength SV% is even better at .943, and his PK SV% hasn't fallen off a cliff. Too bad.]
  • As for the rest of the Flyers, it's been an off-year for their big guns. Claude Giroux leads them in scoring, though his 29 points in 36 are disappointing by his standards. Very few people are surprised that Jakub Voracek isn't scoring a point per game again, but his four goals in 36 games are a bit of a shock. Wayne Simmonds only has three power play goals after hovering among the league leaders over the last two seasons, but he has a lot of PIM, so that's nice.
  • Also, they just waived Sam Gagner, which was especially surprising considering most of us forgot that he was a Flyer.
  • As for the Kings, Jeff Carter's injury his keeping him out of this juicy matchup, but the other forwards are earning their keep. Michael Mersch and Andy Andreoff have hooked up for goals in consecutive games. Marian Gaborik and Tanner Pearson assisted each other on Thursday night. The third line was explosive against Edmonton. In past winters, LA didn't know where the goals would come from. This winter it's been true again, but in a much happier fashion.
  • Last year, LA's first matchup with Philly was a barn-burner, with each team getting over 35 shots and extra time required. The second one was awful.
  • This year, LA's first matchup with Philly was a barn-burner, with each team getting over 35 shots and extra time required. The second one is today!
  • PREDICTION: Dustin Brown scores again.