Unlikely pair gets Flyers past Kings
LOS ANGELES - An unlikely duo helped the Flyers successfully start their grueling five-game road trip last night. Backup goalie Brian Boucher made 37 saves in his second start of the season, and Mika Pyorala scored his first NHL goal as the Flyers rallied past the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2, at the Staples Center.
LOS ANGELES - An unlikely duo helped the Flyers successfully start their grueling five-game road trip last night.
Backup goalie Brian Boucher made 37 saves in his second start of the season, and Mika Pyorala scored his first NHL goal as the Flyers rallied past the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2, at the Staples Center.
Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Flyers, who have won seven of their last eight games.
Van Riemsdyk, the rookie left winger who has at least a point in 12 of his first 15 games, gathered a rebound of Braydon Coburn's shot that caromed off the backboards and backhanded the puck into the net on the power play, giving the Flyers a 3-1 lead with 18 minutes, 13 seconds left.
The Kings made the score 3-2 when Drew Doughty whipped a one-timer past a screened Boucher on the power play with 7:51 remaining.
It marked just the second time this season the Flyers (12-5-1) had won after trailing in a game. The Flyers won despite being outshot, 39-20.
On Tuesday, Flyers coach John Stevens told Boucher he would get his second start of the season last night, but he kept it a secret from reporters.
"It was more about the opponent. I didn't want them to know too early," Stevens said before last night's game. "I didn't want them using it as motivation. . . . But we're not playing Boosh because we think it's a lesser opponent; we're playing Boosh because we think Ray [Emery] needs a rest right now. It's a good opportunity to give Boosh a chance to play."
Making his first appearance since looking shaky in a 4-1 loss to San Jose on Oct. 25, Boucher kept the Kings scoreless for the opening 14-plus minutes.
The Kings, aided by strong forechecking, controlled the first period and had an 11-6 edge in shots. Early in the game, Boucher made a nice stop on former Flyer Justin Williams from the right circle, and a few minutes later turned aside Scott Parse's shot from out front.
Boucher was facing a Kings attack that has lost high-scoring left winger Ryan Smyth for four weeks with an upper-body injury. Alexander Frolov replaced Smyth last night and was on the Kings' top line with Anze Kopitar and Williams.
Boucher allowed a soft goal with 5:07 left in the first period. Jarret Stoll, near the corner just outside the goal line by the right boards, fired a shot toward the net that sneaked past Boucher on the near side, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead.
The Kings missed a great chance to increase their lead when Kimmo Timonen (holding) and Darroll Powe (cross-checking) were called for penalties at the same time, giving Los Angeles a five-on-three opportunity with 1:38 left in the opening period.
Brilliant penalty killing by Blair Betts, Richards, Chris Pronger, Ryan Parent and Coburn limited the Kings to one shot in the final 1:38 of the period.