- Trevor Lewis (1), assist:
- Tyler Toffoli (1), assist:
It is always a lot tougher playing back-to-back games, especially on the West Coast, at the start of the season. The Flyers played a lot better than I thought they would considering how much work they did in game one. They will get a little break today and play their third game in four days on Saturday vs. the Ducks. Here’s my five takeaways from the Flyers game vs the Kings:
5 Takeaways from Flyers vs Kings
- Travis Sanheim’s NHL debut was a lot of ups and downs, which is perfectly okay. There’s a lot of adrenaline coming from a young kid making the first start of his career. For the first two periods, he seemed a bit nervous, but once the third period came along, he got a little more confident and a little more prepared being out on the ice. I liked the effort that he gave in the 3rd period because it shows just how good this kid can be once he gets over the initial nerves. I’m just hoping that Hakstol gives him another chance to prove that on Saturday.
- Michal Neuvirth, despite giving up the two goals, played a very good game in net for the Flyers, including an incredible glove save in the 1st period on the Kings captain Anze Kopitar. I was a little worried about Neuvirth coming in because he had not been feeling well and only played in two games of the preseason, but Neuvirth and Elliott are proving me wrong. If the both of them can keep the Flyers in games with their goaltending, it’s going to be a lot easier for the Flyers to get wins.
- The 4th line is a great addition for the Flyers to have this season, and I am not sure I am going to stop writing about them if they can keep performing the way that they do. The chemistry between Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier is so evident and special that it’s nice for the Flyers to have a 4th line that is generating some offense this season.
- Sean Couturier; man oh man. He has had so many opportunities to score in the last two games and just has not been able to capitalize on them. That first line in general has had a lot of chances to score, and looks aggressive, but cannot find a way to put pucks in the net like they desperately need to. The scoring for that line will happen, hopefully sooner rather than later.
- Flyers Power Play is not going to be like we saw in Game 1 vs. the Sharks every night like I think Flyers fans wanted. But if that’s where a majority of the offense is coming from, the Flyers are in trouble. They have to find a way to score on the 5-on-5 because they had a lot of issues with it last season and it ended up costing them as they tried to make that last minute run. Even strength scoring needs to happen and it needs to happen now.
Player of the Game
- Jonathan Quick just about stood on his head to shut out the Flyers for his 45th shutout of his career. He missed a majority of last season with an injury, but looked pretty good in his first start back in the NHL.
Flub of the Game
- Unfortunately, this goes to the rookie Travis Sanheim who had the costly turnover in the defensive zone that led to some tic-tac-toe passing for the Kings first goal of the game. The Flyers had to play catch up the rest of the night after that, but I will attribute that flub to some first game of the season jitters.
Additional NHL Notes
- The Penguins got absolutely smoked by the Blackhawks in their back-to-back to start the season, so at least you can breath a bit of a sigh of relief that the Flyers performed the way that they did and that Neuvirth was so good. You could have had the performance Antti Niemi gave to start the season.
- We’re two days into the regular season and there’s already been 4 hat tricks. 4! Wayne Simmonds and Connor McDavid had the ones on night 1 and Brandon Saad (now with the Chicago Blackhawks) and Alex Ovechkin had hat tricks in night two.
Flyers will look to bounce back on Saturday as they take on the Anaheim Ducks in game three of the West Coast road trip to start the season.