LOS ANGELES - It turns out that all the Flyers needed to end their road miseries was to face the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Oh, and to have Steve Mason put together one of his best performances of the season.
Sparked by Mason's brilliant goaltending, the Flyers ended their nine-game road losing streak by defeating the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1, Saturday at the Staples Center.
"He's been unbelievable for a long time," winger Wayne Simmonds said after the Flyers won despite being outshot, 38-16. "He stood on his head tonight."
The Flyers, who got goals from Claude Giroux and Simmonds, went 2-0 against the Kings this season; they are 7-13-4 against the rest of the league. The winning goals in both victories over Los Angeles were scored by ex-Kings - Simmonds on Saturday, and Brayden Schenn in a 3-2 overtime triumph Oct. 28.
"These guys are a measuring stick for the entire league right now," Mason said of the Kings. "They've been a model of consistency for the last few years . . . and when you see them on the schedule, you have to make sure you're ready from the start."
"We seem to play better when we play the better teams," said Simmonds, whose team won on the road for the first time since a 5-3 victory in Pittsburgh on Oct. 22. ". . . It shows we can hang in there with the big boys."
The Flyers are 8-1-1 at the Staples Center since it opened in 1999.
Former Flyer Justin Williams scored on a rebound to get the Kings to within 2-1 with 15 minutes, 21 seconds remaining.
The Kings came in swarms the rest of the way, but Mason had all the answers as the Flyers ended a six-game losing streak (0-4-2).
"It's a relief to finally get two points," said Giroux, mindful the team played well in losses to San Jose and Anaheim earlier in the trip.
"We sat back a little too much," coach Craig Berube said, "but overall, the battle and competitiveness was there defensively."
The Flyers blocked 22 shots, including five by Braydon Coburn. The Kings had three blocks.
Late in the game, the Flyers killed a 13-second five-on-three Kings power play and a five-on-four.
"We made it difficult there with the two penalties, but the penalty killers did a great job - just like they did all night," Mason said.
Flyers penalty killers were 5 for 5, with defensemen Coburn, Nick Grossmann, Nick Schultz, and Andrew MacDonald doing an admirable job. Ditto forwards Michael Raffl and Sean Couturier, among others.
Giroux, converting a nice feed from Mark Streit, scored from the slot with 15:25 left in the first period, beating Jonathan Quick to the stick side with a well-placed shot to the corner.
Simmonds made it 2-0 by scoring a second-period power-play goal. Taking a slick pass from Sean Couturier, Simmonds went in on a brief two-on-one and beat Quick to the short side with 17:52 left in the second.
The Kings, who had shutouts in three of the previous four games, dominated the rest of the period as the Flyers went into a defensive shell. But Mason stood tall as he made five saves on one of the Kings power plays. He later kicked out his left leg at the last instant and stopped Anze Kopitar, who was alone in front with about six minutes to go in the second. Four minutes later, he denied ex-Flyer Jeff Carter from in close.
Mason played like he did here last Feb. 2 in a 2-0 Flyers win. In that game, Giroux and Simmonds were the goal scorers - just like in this matchup.
"You know if you don't have your [best] game against these guys, you're going to pay for it," Mason said.
The Flyers avoided their first 10-game road winless streak since 1991-92, when they were 0-8-2. Their longest road winless streak: 19 games (0-15-4) in 1971-72.