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Referees Miss Costly Penalty as Kings Take Down Flyers in Overtime, 4-3

The Philadelphia Flyers fell to the Los Angeles Kings in overtime tonight by a score of 4-3. The first period had 4 goals – 2 from each team – with James van Riemsdyk opening the scoring. Anze Kopitar tied it up 4 minutes later on the power play, and Wade Allison re-took the lead 1:06 later before Kopitar tied the game again 1:13 later. Rasmus Ristolainen also scored his 2nd goal of the season before Samuel Fagemo and the Kings tied the game after a costly Tony DeAngelo turnover.

The third period was quick with not much happening until overtime when DeAngelo was tripped up and interfered with as he was going after a loose puck. Nothing was called and that allowed the Kings to catch the Flyers flat-footed and Kevin Fiala ended it with his 17th of the season. Carter Hart made 34 stops, Pheonix Copley made 28 saves, and there were definitely a lot of missed calls tonight against the Kings on the Flyers.

After a gruelling week where the Philadelphia Flyers played 5 games in 7 days – winning 2 of the 5 – they were back on home ice as they looked to sweep the season series against the Los Angeles Kings. The Flyers showed their resiliency on Sunday night against the Winnipeg Jets as they overcame an early 3-0 deficit by tying the game midway through the third period. Unfortunately, the Jets scored on a flukey goal per se and the Flyers weren’t able to get back in the game. Carter Hart returned in goal tonight as he looked for his 15th win of the season, Travis Konecny remained on the hunt for his first ever 25-goal season, and this was the 16th straight game with the same lineup – resulting in a 9-6 record to date.

Phoenix Copley got the call for tonight for Los Angeles as he looked for his 14th win in 18 attempts. Jonathan Quick got the start the last time they played each other on New Year’s Eve when the Flyers won 4-2 behind a strong performance from Samuel Ersson and a late shorthanded goal from Noah Cates. The Kings entered tonight’s game winless in 7 attempts against Metropolitan Division teams (0-6-1) and they also held the third worst save percentage in the NHL behind only Seattle and Vancouver at an .871 SV%.


The Kings were all over the Flyers to start the game as evidenced by their 5-0 shot advantage in the first 3 and a half minutes but momentum was cut short when Philip Danault was sent to the sin bin for flipping the puck into crowd, bringing out the 27th-ranked power play unit who scored twice against the Jets on Sunday. The Flyers had some chances, were set up in the zone for a good chunk of it, but nothing was overly dangerous for Copley.

However soon after the expiration of the power play, the Flyers took an early 1-0 lead after James van Riemsdyk deposited the puck into a yawning cage with 14:10 remaining in the first period. Ivan Provorov fed a streaking Owen Tippett into the neutral zone before he bull-rushed himself into the offensive zone, made a move on a few defenders before freezing Drew Doughty and Copley with a pass to van Riemsdyk opposite him for his 8th goal of the season.

With 10:43 remaining in the period, goal-scorer van Riemsdyk was sent to the penalty box for a tripping minor, bringing out the 10th-ranked power play unit in the NHL. Unfortunately for the Flyers, it only took the Kings 4 seconds to score and tie the game after an Anze Kopitar blast caught everyone by surprise. Kopitar won the faceoff to Doughty and as Kopitar rotated himself into the bumper position, Doughty passed it to Kevin Fiala before the latter one-touched it to Kopitar who cranked it past Carter Hart for his 13th of the season.

66 seconds later, Wade Allison responded in quick order for the Flyers as his initial breakaway shot was stopped but he stuck with the rebound and deposited it past Copley for his 7th of the season. The Flyers quickly transitioned from defence to offence as Ivan Provorov, from below the goal line and with a King on his back, sent a pass to Kevin Hayes at the blue-line. Hayes tipped it ahead to Allison, who made a move on Sean Durzi to get past him, and then was all alone on Copley before finding his own rebound, giving the Flyers their second lead of the game at the 9:33 mark of the first period.

Unfortunately, that Flyers lead only lasted 73 seconds after Kopitar responded with his second goal in 2 minutes and 19 seconds to tie the game. The play started from their own end with quick passes that got them out of the zone in a heap. Tony DeAngelo got beat by Quinton Byfield at the blue-line, he made a move on the offensive defenseman as he waited for Adrian Kempe who entered the zone with so much speed that he not only beat Travis Sanheim, but Carter Hart as well who bit on the fake-shot wrap-around attempt. Kopitar walked in untouched and unmarked as Kempe found the captain and he made no mistake with Hart flat-footed on the attempt at the 8:20 mark of the period.

With 6:28 remaining in the period, Sanheim was whistled down for a hooking minor, bringing out the dangerous Kings power play once again. This time the Flyers not only won the faceoff but they were able to kill it off and kept the score tied at 2. Nicolas Deslauriers had a nonchalant chance while shorthanded that Copley juggled with Patrick Brown bearing down on him. Then going the other way, Danault had a very dangerous attempt in the slot but Carter Hart got his pad on the puck to keep the power play off the board.

After missing 2 blatant penalties on the same shift, the third time was the charm after Kempe was whistled down for a holding minor with 106 seconds left in the period. The Flyers had a couple of cracks within the 106 seconds but Copley was able to make the saves and kept the score tied heading into the first intermission. Both teams scored twice, and both teams took 14 shots, but the Flyers were out ahead with an 11-4 hit advantage.


van Riemsdyk was whistled down for the second time in as many periods as he was called for a tripping minor 1:45 into the second period. 7 seconds after the Flyers killed off van Riemsdyk’s minor, Deslauriers was called for a tripping minor, much to the chagrin of the enforcer after he was blatantly hooked down by Kopitar on the previous penalty kill that was not called. Deslauriers’s minor was taken care of with the Flyers having not allowed a shot on goal on either, in fact no shots on goal were fired by either team until the 8:29 mark of the period with Kopitar coming very close to his hat-trick on a one-time attempt that was quickly padded aside by Hart.

With 9:23 remaining in the middle period, Rasmus Ristolainen made a beeline towards the net with Morgan Frost handling the puck and bringing over 3 white jerseys along the way. Frost noticed the hulking defenseman making the move and sent a pass that he kicked onto his stick blade and backhanded it past Copley for his 2nd of the season.

3 minutes later, van Riemsdyk came within inches of doubling the Flyers lead but his backhand attempt was kicked aside by Copley’s pad after Morgan Frost set up the goal-scoring power forward with a perfect pass from behind the net.

With 4:17 remaining, Ristolainen was called for a boarding minor, sending the Kings to their 5th power play of the game and 3rd of the period. The Flyers were able to kill the penalty but with 1:24 left in the period, Samuel Fagemo ripped a shot from the middle of the ice past Hart’s glove for his 2nd goal of the season. Tony DeAngelo turned the puck over in the corner as he tried flipping a pass to Morgan Frost. The Flyers were caught flat-footed and that allowed Fagemo to walk in down Broadway to tie the game.

Finally the Flyers received a power play after several missed calls as Byfield was whistled down for a tripping minor with 39.7 ticks left on the clock. With the period coming to an end, Mikey Anderson delivered a hip check on Travis Konecny along the boards, which the 24-goal-scorer did not appreciate in the slightest. Words were exchanged, pushes and shoves were delivered, and the referees had to come in as the period ended with a little bit of a boiler.

Both teams scored once in the period but once again entered another intermission tied. The Kings held an 11-7 shot advantage after taking only 3 shots in the first 16 minutes of the period. After the Ristolainen goal gave the Flyers an abbreviated lead, the Kings took over the period with 8 shots to the Flyers’ 1.


The Flyers recorded their first shot of the third period with 14:30 left, which also represented only their second shot on goal since the Rasmus Ristolainen tally. The Kings were taking full control of the period and the game as they held an 8-2 shot advantage in the first 8 minutes of the period. Kevin Hayes had his stick slashed out of his hand that went uncalled and after the Kings started hacking away at Hart’s glove after he had smothered a loose puck, tempers flared once again.

The third period was different than the previous 2 that came before it since it involved a lot of end to end hockey, not too many faceoffs, and no penalties were called. Each team had their chances in the latter half of the period but Hart and Copley made the necessary saves and the defence did the rest. The period ended with both teams locked in a 3-3 tie with the Kings holding a 35-30 shot advantage.


The Kings held a 3-5 record in the 3-on-3 overtime session and the Flyers entered tonight going 1-6. To start overtime, Anze Kopitar’s initial shot was stopped and then followed his rebound after Sanheim fumbled the pass attempt but Hart was able to follow the puck, make the save, and cover for the faceoff.

Scott Laughton then went down the other way with Sanheim opposite him and rang one off the post. DeAngelo secured the rebound and set up Sanheim for a one-time chance but was robbed by Copley. As DeAngelo was going for the loose puck, he was taken down and interfered with by Kopitar. The Flyers were then caught as Kevin Fiala came down on an odd-man rush with Konecny the lone defender back, and he walked in and ripped one past Hart for the game-winning goal.


The Flyers hit the road for a two-game road trip that begins Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

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