Couturier scores twice to help Flyers crown Kings
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[October 15, 2016]
LOS ANGELES -- A four-goal
scoring barrage in the second period allowed the Philadelphia Flyers
to bolt past the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
Sean Couturier scored twice and the Flyers upended the Kings 4-2 in
their home opener before 18,453 at Staples Center.
"They were pretty pumped up and came out hard and we faced the
storm, but after that we started taking over," Couturier said. "We
got a nice four-goal lead and after that we just closed the game
Travis Konecny and Nick Cousins had two assists apiece for the
Flyers (1-0-0), who ended a four-game skid in openers on the road.
Philadelphia shook off a slow start and manhandled Los Angeles in
the second period.
"They were ready, home opener, we knew it was going to be tough in
the first period but we battled through it," Konecny said. "Then we
got our feet under us in the second period, and things began to go
Goaltender Michal Neuvith stopped 23 of 25 shots for Philadelphia.
Goalie Jeff Zatkoff had 26 saves for the Kings (0-0-2), who opened
the season on Wednesday by falling at San Jose. The Kings have lost
five straight openers at home.
"Both teams were sort of feeling each other out in the first period.
In the second period, they scored two goals and we had two really
bad line changes," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.
Philadelphia was up 4-1 heading into the third period. A goal by
Brayden McNabb ricocheted off the stick of Mark Streit and into the
net to pull the Kings within 4-2 at 3:01 of the period, but neither
team scored again.
The Kings' inability to stop the Flyers in the second period
dictated the outcome, though.
"We were turning over pucks, giving odd-man rushes, and had a few
bad (line) changes," said Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who also
scored a goal in the second period. "It was one of the worst periods
we have played as a team in a long time."
The Kings played their first game without standout goalie Jonathan
Quick, who is sidelined for an unknown period after suffering a
lower-body injury in the loss to San Jose.
After a scoreless first period, the Flyers jump-started their
offense by scoring two goals just 48 seconds apart early in the
second period. Boyd Gordon converted a pass from Nick Cousins on a
rush at 3:55 for the initial score.
Then Couturier, on an assist from Shayne Gostisbehere, sidestepped
Zatkoff and dropped a winner into the net at 4:43 for a 2-0 Flyers
The Flyers weren't done. Couturier scored again after a Kings
turnover when he delivered at 12:04 of the second period for a 3-0
Philadelphia cushion. It was the third multi-goal game of
Streit added to the Flyers' point parade with a goal with 1:57
left in the second period to make it 4-0.
[to top of second column]
Flyers center Sean Couturier (14) collides with Los Angeles Kings
goalie Jeff Zatkoff (37) during a NHL game at Staples Center. The
Flyers defeated the Kings 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY
Doughty put the Kings on the board by zipping a rocket past Neuvirth
with 1:08 remaining in the period to slice the Flyers' lead to
Los Angeles outshot Philadelphia 10-4 after one period. However, the
Flyers enjoyed a healthy 21-9 edge in the second for a 25-19
advantage through two periods.
Gostisbehere suffered a skate to the face and a cut of about four
inches in the first period. Gostisbehere was falling to the ice when
Kings left winger Kyle Clifford was skating past. Clifford's skate
nicked Gostisbehere on the right side of his face, but the Flyers
defenseman said he was fine after the game.
"I got really lucky, actually," Gostisbehere said. "It didn't get me
too bad. No stitches, it's just a scrape. I got to go get it looked
at, but I was just thankful it wasn't worse."
NOTES: The Kings honored members of their 1967-68 club to kick off
their 50th anniversary in the NHL. In its inaugural game, Los
Angeles defeated Philadelphia 4-2 at the Long Beach Arena. Hall of
Famer Wayne Gretzky was among the Kings whose numbers have been
retired attending the ceremony. The Flyers also are celebrating
their 50th season in the league. ... The Flyers scratched D Radko
Gudas (suspension), C Brayden Schenn and LW Roman Lyubimov. LW
Tanner Pearson (suspension), D Tom Gilbert and C Nic Dowd were
inactive for the Kings. ... Los Angeles swept the series last
season. ... The Flyers leed the all-time series 84-42-17 entering
the matchup. ... The two teams meet again on Feb. 4 in Philadelphia.
... The Flyers visit the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, while the
Kings play the Wild at Minnesota on Tuesday.
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