Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Thursday, December 30th
Game 2: Sunday, February 13th

Flyers 7

(23-9-5, 51 pts)

Kings 4

(22-14-1, 45 pts)

10:30 PM ET, December 30, 2010

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

1 2 3 T
PHI 2 4 17
LA 2 2 04

M. Richards (Flyers - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 2

C. Giroux (Flyers - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

R. Smyth (Kings - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Flyers-Kings Preview


The Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers are near the top of their respective divisions, but poor play in recent games has prevented them from moving any closer.

Looking to bounce back from perhaps their worst effort of 2010-11, the Kings take the ice at Staples Center on Thursday night against the Flyers, who have been letting pucks in at an alarming rate over their last two games.

Los Angeles (22-13-1) squandered a chance to move within one point of Pacific Division-leading Dallas after the Stars lost to Detroit on Wednesday. The Kings allowed four first-period goals and lost 6-3 at Phoenix.

The four goals in the opening 20 minutes matched what Los Angeles had given up while winning its previous four games.

"We didn't play in any area of the game," Kings coach Terry Murray said, adding there were "several mistakes out there."

Jonathan Quick stopped only 12 of 18 shots before being replaced by Jonathan Bernier, who turned away all 13 shots he faced. Bernier has allowed one goal in each of his last two starts, and could make his first career appearance against the Flyers.

Anze Kopitar has a goal and five assists in his last three games, and leads Los Angeles with 25 assists and 40 points. Recently acquired Marco Sturm has two goals and an assist in his last three games for the Kings.

Following a 5-0 home loss to Florida on Dec. 20, Philadelphia (22-9-5) opened a road-heavy portion of its schedule Tuesday in Vancouver, where they hadn't lost in 14 games dating to January 1989. However, Brian Boucher and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky faced 49 shots en route to a 6-2 defeat.

"We should have been ready," Boucher said of the return to game action following the holiday break. "We weren't, and we paid for it. The last two games have not been very good. Maybe this game was circled on their calendar as a benchmark, and we weren't ready tonight."

Boucher allowed four goals on 28 shots before being replaced early in the second period. Bobrovsky stopped 19 of 21 shots over the final 34:39.

Despite the lopsided losses, the Flyers remain second in the Atlantic, three points behind league-leading Pittsburgh.

Boucher has won his last four starts in Los Angeles, posting a 1.23 GAA with one shutout. Bobrovsky is 7-1-1 with a 2.00 GAA on the road this season.

The Flyers, who are already missing defenseman Chris Pronger (broken foot), could be without their top scorer from the blue line. Kimmo Timonen suffered a lower-body injury Tuesday and told the Flyers' official website that he may not face the Kings.

"I'll take the morning skate and we'll see how it feels," said Timonen, who has one goal and 15 assists in 36 games. "I would say it's a 50/50 chance… It's nothing really bad, but it's one of those things where I have to step on the ice (Thursday) and see."

Philadelphia will also be without enforcer Jody Shelley. Shelley was suspended two games by the NHL on Wednesday for hitting the Canucks' Andrew Alberts with a punch while down on the ice. He was also suspended two games earlier this month, and will miss Friday's game at Anaheim.

Following this contest, the Flyers will play seven of their next eight on the road, where they are 10-3-3.