In one of the most anticipated games of the season, Mike Richards and the Kings beat the previously undefeated Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime on Saturday. Richards was greeted with a confusing combination of applause and boo’s, the latter of which I am still trying to make sense of. The good news is that Richards handled the pressure like a pro, as he played nearly 21 minutes of smart, solid hockey and made a beautiful pass to Jack Johnson’s overtime winner (Déjà Vu, anyone?). Justin Williams scored the first two goals for the Kings and Anze Kopitar had an assist, adding to both of their point streaks. The Kings have got to be pleased with the production coming from that top line.
In other more unfortunate news, Drew Doughty left the game after a mere 1:34 of ice time with an undisclosed upper body injury after a massive hit from Zac Rinaldo. He is expected to be out 7-10 days. Check out the big hit here. Dustin Penner may be regretting his immediate retaliation on Rinaldo, considering he saw very little ice time after serving the 2 minute instigator, 5 minute fighting major, and 10 minute game misconduct penalties. However, Penner wasn’t the only player to spend time in the box, as the Kings served a total of 12 penalties and the Flyers, 10.
Jack Johnson stepped up in Doughty’s absence and not only scored the game winning goal for a second time this season, but played one of the best defensive games the team has seen from him in a while. Davis Drewiske and Kevin Westgarth stepped in to replace Alec Martinez and Trent Hunter. I’ve got to admit, I was a little surprised by Coach Terry Murray’s lineup changes considering Martinez and Hunter have both been off to solid starts, but regardless, it all worked out for the best and it was good to see everyone involved. Jonathan Quick had another outstanding performance, stopping 32 shots, and demonstrating yet again what a huge asset he is to this team.
The Kings head back to Los Angeles tonight after nearly two weeks on the road. Time for the boys to rest up and prepare for the big home opener on Tuesday at Staples Center against the St. Louis Blues. 7:30pm start time here in LA, you won’t want to miss it.
Click here for highlights from Kings vs. Flyers 10/15/11
Topics: Alec Martinez, Anze Kopitar, Davis Drewiske, Drew Doughty, Dustin Penner, Jack Johnson, Jonathan Quick, Justin Williams, Kevin Westgarth, Los Angeles Kings, Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Terry Murray, Trent Hunter, Zac Rinaldo