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5 Takeaways: Flyers Outclassed by Kings as Power Play Falters Again

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Cal Petersen, Philadelphia Flyers. AP
Los Angeles' Adrian Kempe puts the puck past Flyers goalie Cal Petersen in the first period Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. Photo: AP.

The longer the game went, the more tired the Philadelphia Flyers looked Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Maybe it was because they were playing on back to back nights, and were involved in their third game in four nights.

Or maybe it was because their opponents, the rested Los Angeles Kings, are such a strong team.

Whatever the reason, the Flyers weren’t nearly as crisp as they were in an easy win in Buffalo the previous night. They fell to the Kings, 5-0, as Cam Talbot (24 saves) recorded the shutout and 21-year-old right winger Quinton Byfield had three assists, giving him six helpers in the last three games.

Los Angeles, wearing shiny silver (and oh so gaudy) helmets, improved to 7-2-2, while the Flyers slipped to 5-6-1.

Here are five takeaways:

1. Cal Petersen’s first NHL game since Nov. 29, 2022 wasn’t memorable.

The 29-year-old goalie stopped 25 of 30 shots while facing his former teammates. He had no chance on the Kings’ first two goals, but wasn’t sharp overall.

Once considered the goalie who would replace Jonathan Quick, Petersen was inconsistent with the Kings and was part of a three-team trade with the Flyers in the offseason, a deal that sent Ivan Provorov to Columbus and also netted Philly defensemen Sean Walker and Helge Grans, along with a first-round pick and two second-rounders.

Petersen struggled with the Phantoms in four games this season (1-3, 3.76 GAA, .884 save percentage). He was recalled because of an injury to Carter Hart, who is listed as day to day.

2. The Kings scored two goals in an 18-second span to take control.

Cam York seemingly had position on Adrian Kempe, but it didn’t matter. Somehow, Kempe got his stick on a bouncing puck and put it past Petersen with 5:10 left in the first. Just 18 seconds later, Anze Kopitar deflected Matt Roy’s point drive into the net.

It was the 399th career goal for Kopitar, 36, a future Hall of Famer who has scored six times this season.

3. Tyson Foerster is still snakebitten.

As he knocked a goal-mouth shot on goal in the closing seconds of the first period,  rookie right winger was robbed by Talbot. That’s been a theme in his first 11 games. Foerster, 21, has been doing a lot of good things, getting quality chances, but has been unable to get his first goal of the season.

A year ago, Foerster had three goals in eight games with the Flyers.

4. Philly’s power play continued to struggle.

The power play went 0 for 4, and is 0 for its last 15. For the season, the Flyers are just 4 for 41, one of the worst marks in the NHL.

Philadelphia changed its power-play setup during the game, but it didn’t help.

While the Flyers didn’t do much with an extra skater, the Kings scored a power-play goal with 3:59 left in the second as Arthur Kaliyev  connected to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.

With 16 seconds to go in the second, Trevor Moore’s right-circle shot appeared to slightly change directions as it deflected off Travis Sanheim and past Petersen. That gave the Kings a 4-0 lead.

5. The Kings showed why they have flourished on the road.

Los Angeles was strong in all aspects of the game — special teams, five-on-five, goaltending — as it raised its road record to 6-0.

Part of the reason for the Kings’ early success: stability. Saturday marked the ninth straight game they had used the same group of forwards and defensemen.

Breakaways

The Flyers were blanked for the first time this season. … Talbot has four shutouts in 13 career games vs. the Philadelphia Flyers. … Travis Sanheim, who played 29:14, was minus-4. … York (minus-3, delay-of-game penalty) was benched for the third period. … Cam Atkinson was stopped by Talbot on a shorthanded breakaway with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the first. … With the Flyers facing a 2-0 deficit, Owen Tippett fired a shot off the post midway through the second period. …  The Flyers are 3-4 at home. … Travis Konecny played in his 500th career game. … Injured center Sean Couturier missed his second straight game. … The Flyers recalled goalie Felix Sandstrom and placed him on the IR with an upper-body injury. … The Flyers will face lowly San Jose on Tuesday, starting a four-game road trip that will also take them to Anaheim (Friday), Los Angeles (Saturday) and Carolina on Nov. 15.

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