The Flyers missed a chance to go into the NHL record books Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
They could have tied a bizarre NHL record: most consecutive victories immediately following a winless streak of at least 10 games.
Instead, the Los Angeles Kings ended their six-game winning streak with a methodical 4-1 victory.
Jonathan Quick stopped 36 of 37 shots as the Kings, coached by John Stevens, ended a three-game skid and handed the Flyers their first loss since Dec. 2. Stevens, who is in his first year as Los Angeles' head coach, directed the Flyers from 2006 to 2009.
Los Angeles swept the season series (minimum of two games) against the Flyers in regulation for the first time since the teams began playing in 1967.
The Flyers nearly equaled an odd record set 50 years ago. Toronto had seven straight wins following an 11-game winless streak in 1967. A few months later, the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup. (They haven't won one since that year.)
The Kings are a "big, kind of old-school hockey (team). They don't give up a lot," said Flyers' center Sean Couturier, whose team fired most of its even-strength shots from the perimeter. "Five on five, we knew it was going to be a grind and we were going to have to find a way to create our chances and bring pucks to the slot, and I don't think we did a good job. We have to be better."
Quick made a handful of big saves to keep the Kings ahead while the Flyers were on a third-period power play, Adrian Kempe came out of the penalty box and scored on an odd-man rush, giving Los Angeles a 3-1 lead with 15:12 left.
About two minutes later, Drew Doughty made it 4-1, but the goal was disallowed after the Flyers challenged the score and a video review revealed goalie interference on Dustin Brown.
Tyler Toffoli iced the win by scoring with 4:29 to go.
Playing catch up, the Flyers took lots of third-period chances and, as a result, allowed some odd-man rushes — a rarity during their winning streak.
"I thought our guys did a good job — six in a row after not winning for 10," losing goalie Brian Elliott said. "I think we have to really look at the positive and stop this at a one-game loss and move on to the next game. I don't think we need to hang our heads too low here."
The Flyers conclude their five-game homestand Wednesday against Detroit.
Elliott, rebounding from a shaky first period, made a sensational glove save to deny Marian Gaborik from the slot with 15:45 left in the second, keeping the Flyers' deficit at 2-1. About five minutes later, Elliott robbed Alex Iafallo from point-blank range.
The Flyers were fortunate to only face a 2-1 deficit after the first 20 minutes.
The Kings hit a crossbar and a post in the period, one that included goals by Los Angeles' Alec Martinez and Trevor Lewis.
Martinez scored on a point drive that deflected off the Flyers' Taylor Leier and past Elliott with 14:33 left in the first. A little over 11 minutes later, Trevor Lewis, after a bad Flyers line change, beat Elliott on a right-circle shot he put to the short side, above the goalie's glove.
It's a save Elliott usually makes, and it put the Flyers in a 2-0 hole.
Jake Voracek trimmed the deficit to 2-1, scoring on a power-play after Claude Giroux's shot took a fortuitous carom — it was blocked by the ever-present Doughty — to the right winger in the right circle with 1:56 left in the first.
"It was kind of a lucky bounce there, but it worked," said Shayne Gostisbehere, who had six shots and an assist but was minus-3 on the night.
The Kings, winless in their first three stops on their four-game East Coast trip, looked like the hungrier team in the first period, and Elliott showed signs of fatigue from playing in his eighth straight game.
Backup Michal Neuvirth has been recovering from an unspecified injury and the Flyers have been reluctant to use rookie Alex Lyon. Neuvirth has been practicing with the team and is expected back later this week.
The Flyers have just seven of their remaining 49 games against Western Conference opponents. They are 9-10-4 against the West.