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Los Angeles Kings @ Philadelphia Flyers Game 54 Running Diary: Flyers 8-game winning streak snapped in a shootout, 3-2!

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“We just gotta keep the fun bus rolling here.” - Tyler Toffoli

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Philadelphia Flyers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the Los Angeles Kings versus the red-hot Philadelphia Flyers. We, at Jewels From The Crown, do not want to take any undue credit, but regular readers of the running diaries will tell you that the Dion Phaneuf healthy scratch has been mentioned repeatedly since the latest recall of Sean Walker and Matt Luff. We are very pleased that Willie Desjardins reads along as well. Why this didn’t happen sooner, we will never know. Maybe they were waiting for Dion to score his first goal of the year.

With Jeff Carter out, here are the revamped lines for tonight.

Iafallo—Kopitar—Brown
Leipsic—Amadio—Toffoli
Hagelin—Kempe—Kovalchuk
Clifford—Thompson—Wagner

Forbort—Doughty
Martinez—Walker
Fantenberg—LaDue

Jonathan Quick in net.

The Kings, who sit only six points out of a playoff spot (and five points out of last place in the league) have drawn a bit of a break getting Anthony Stolarz (3-3-2, .894 Sv%, 3.44 GAA) in net for the Flyers and avoiding Carter Hart. Hart will instead go for his eighth straight win versus the Ducks Saturday night.

A certain mascot crashed the pre-game show. Where’s Bailey when you need him?

First Period

02:04—Hey ref! How do you miss that swinging high stick to Alec Martinez’s head? No penalty? Nothing?

02:07—Quick came ready tonight, stopping former King Wayne Simmons point blank...twice!

03:21—Martinez down the tunnel and unknown when he will be back. Ugh.

Kings 1. Flyers 0.

08:46—Kyle Clifford with the great pass to Austin Wagner on a give and go. Secondary assist to Walker. Kings are 15-4-1 when scoring the first goal. Can you feel that 1.3 per cent chance of making the playoffs soaring?

11:58—Wagner on a modified breakaway but can’t calm a bouncing puck. I wish Mike Amadio and Austin Wagner had been linemates through the misery of this season.

13:15—Flyers are out of sync because the Kings think this is the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs playing strong and proud. And, yes, Martinez is back and on the ice.

15:45—Quick ventures behind the net and promptly creates some high value opportunities for the Flyers. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it one thousand times, but Quickie should never leave the crease to play the puck.

16:47—Jim Fox started ringing the bell again about how Ilya Kovalchuk needed to earn the coaching staff’s trust earlier this season. Blah blah blah. Sorry, but a career point-a-game player doesn’t need to prove himself. The Kings announcers treat Willie D. like he’s clearing shelf space for the 2018-19 Jack Adams Trophy. Ridiculous!

18:01—This would have been great from prolific goal scorer Kyle Clifford:

End of Period.

Aggressive. Smart. Engaged. Dominant. Four words you’ve seldom heard this year attributed to the Los Angeles Kings. Tonight in South Philadelphia, they all apply.

Shots: Kings 18. Flyers 11.

Second Period

00:59—Flyers can’t convert a two-on-one as Jakub Voracek holds it too long and that won’t work against a sharp Quick in net.

04:14—Kings on a long cycle where Adrian Kempe finds Kovalchuk and a great save by Stolarz denies what would have been a 2-1 lead. If the Hagelin-Kempe-Kovalchuk line takes off like it looks like they can, that will be bad news for Kings opponents.

5:23—TV Timeout. Kings dominating. Shots are 24-14, but if the Kings can’t find a way to score the second goal, this could go sideways.

Kings 1. Flyers 1.

07:00—Yep, there it is. Claude Giroux with the patented dive-chops and it bounces perfectly to Sean Couturier who backhands it past Quick.

07:45—PING goes the post off a laser by Radko Gudas. Kings lucky it’s not 2-1 Flyers. All the momentum is with the Flyers now.

11:23—Drew Doughty with the huge blast that took all of Stolarz’s six-foot-six frame to stop. Kings with their first shot in six minutes.

Kings 2. Flyers 1.

12:33—Kempe now has goals in three straight as he finished off a two-on-one with Brendan Leipsic. This time on the new line of Leipsic-Kempe-Toffoli.

15:10—Gudas had Kovalchuk in his sights, but the ever-aware Kovalchuk put the brakes on hard and only received a light tap. That would have been highlight material all night long. Instead, Gudas skates to the bench with a second miss (PING + failed Toyota Tough Hit of the Game) of the night.

18:35—Clifford trips up Ivan Provorov sending the Flyers to the power play. Kings have killed 10 straight penalties, while the Flyers are seven for their last 10 with the man advantage.

19:27—James van Riemsdyk with a snap that Quick gets to somehow, followed by van Riemsdyk being denied on his own rebound in front of the net. Guaranteed: no one else on Earth could stop those back-to-back chances.

20:01—Couturier pots the puck a fraction of a second too late and the Kings survive the period with the lead.

End of Period.

Might be time to dust off that “Believe” hashtag. Kings are 6-5-2 when leading after two periods. Flyers with 35 seconds of power play time to start the third.

Shots: Kings 31. Flyers 20.

Third Period

00:35—Nothing doing on that power play. Make it 11 straight kills.

01:10—Voracek off the post and the Kings dodge another bullet.

03:14—Why Alex? Why? Iafallo lofts one out of play. Flyers to the power play on that delay of game penalty.

03:31—Toffoli walks in shorthanded and...PING! That’s two pings for the Kings and two for the Flyers tonight.

05:14—Nothing doing on that power play either. Make it 12 straight kills.

05:15 through 16:19—Nervous time!

16:20—Dustin Brown on the breakaway...wide of the net!

18:15—Time out Flyers. We’ll skate 6-on-5 for a while.

Kings 2. Flyers 2.

19:42—Voracek ties it up as he sneaks in past Iafallo. He’s been due all night. Not the best game for Alex tonight.

End of Period.

On to the extra frame. We’ll skate 3-on-3 for a while

Shots: Kings 37. Flyers 30.

Overtime

4:03—Despite dominating the overtime, the Kings have only managed one shot. A Flyers two-on-one break leads to a hit crossbar.

End of Overtime.

Shots: Kings 39. Flyers 32.

Shootout

Giroux—Goal
Kovalchuk—Goal
Voracek—Save
Kopitar—Save
Patrick—Goal
Kempe—Goal
van Riemsdyk—Save
Brown—Miss
Konecny—Miss
Iafallo—PING!
Couturier—Save
Toffoli—Goal

Epilogue

What a game! Kings are now 3-1-0 post-Muzzin trade and five points out of a playoff spot (also five points out of last place). What a weird, wacky season.

Next: Saturday—The Kings continue their Grammy Trip, visiting the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

Quotable:

Should have started Hart:

The Curious Case of Tyler Toffoli: