Flyers can move into wild card w/ win vs. Kings; Hart, Laughton, Brassard to rejoin team in ANA
The Flyers (13-12-6), who play in Los Angeles (15-12-5) on Saturday night and can move into a wild-card spot with a victory, are getting points and receiving great goaltending on their West Coast trip – and yes, the two are related.
With No. 1 goalie Carter Hart on the COVID-19 protocol list, Martin Jones and rookie Felix Sandstrom have stepped up in the Flyers’ first two games of the trip. (Hart, Derick Brassard, and Scott Laughton came off the COVID list Saturday and will join the team in Anaheim.)
Jones made 34 saves as the Flyers, despite being outplayed, outlasted Seattle in overtime, 3-2, on Wednesday.
The next night, Sandstrom was brilliant in his NHL debut as he made 43 saves – the most ever by a Flyers goalie in his NHL debut – and stole a point for Philly in its 3-2 overtime loss in San Jose.
So the Flyers will take a seven-game point streak into their matchup Saturday night in Los Angeles, where Jones will get the call.
“He’s been a great pro and a real reliable goalie for us,” interim coach Mike Yeo said. “He’s been as advertized – a veteran presence who has a very calm demeanor in the net and uses his size well.”
Can the Flyers continue to get strong goaltending against a Kings team that has struggled to score goals?
Minus some key players like Sean Couturier, Brassard and Laughton, the Flyers’ offensive-zone time has been poor in the first two games of the trip. They need that to improve if they are going to keep their point streak alive. They will move past Detroit and into a wild-card spot with a victory.
The Kings are winning games because of their defense and Jonathan Quick – and they will try to use that formula Saturday.
Like the Flyers, the Kings would move into a wild-card spot with a win, though that is deceiving because they would climb past Colorado, which will have played six fewer games.
Here are the Flyers’ projected lines:
Line 1: Claude Giroux centering James van Riemsdyk and Cam Atkinson.
Line 2: Kevin Hayes centering Joel Farabee and Max Willman.
Line 3: Morgan Frost centering Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny.
Line 4: Patrick Brown centering Jackson Cates and Zack MacEwen.
Defense: Provorov and Justin Braun; Travis Sanheim and Rasmus Ristolainen; and Keith Yandle and Kevin Connauton.
The Flyers (25th, 2.64 goals per game) and Kings (27th, 2.59) are near the bottom part of the league in goals scored per game. Defensively, the Kings are ninth in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.66), while the Flyers are 21st(3.13).
The Kings’ special teams are awful (25th on the PP, 28th on the PK); the Flyers’ PP is 26th, and their PK is 11th.
Konecny has nine assists over the last nine games for the Flyers. He has gone 16 games, however, without scoring a goal and is still searching for his 100th career tally.
Defenseman Matt Roy has five points (all assists) and a plus-6 rating in his the last six games for L.A.
Projected goalie matchup
Jones (6-4-1, 3.20, .911), who started his career in Los Angeles, vs. Jonathan Quick (9-7-4, 2.33, .923).
How to watch
NBC Sports Philadelphia will televise the 10:30 p.m. game.
Money line (FanDuel)
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Kings 3, Flyers 2