How streaks end
You lose a faceoff so cleanly in your own zone it leads directly to a blistering uncontested shot and goal from the top of the circle. Torrey Mitchell got an assist from a faceoff win against Scott Laughton. Regardless of whether Brian Elliott should have had Alec Martinez's 53-foot one timer, you can't lose a faceoff the way Laughton lost one to Mitchell, leading to the Kings' first goal early into Monday's 4-1 streak-breaking Flyers loss.
The Kings had lost the first three games of their four-game road trip. So the alternative title to this is, "How to end a (losing) streak."
Laughton's effort was reflective of another listless Flyers start. Most of the first period was marked by clean passes bouncing off sticks and inaccuracy born out of inattentiveness, gliding into checks and forechecks, and sloppy turnovers in dangerous spots on the ice.
Even line changes proved problematic, and indirectly led to the Kings' second first-period goal, which turned out to be lethal.
A little puck luck not enough
The Flyers have had a nice run of it during their six-game winning streak after not having much in the 10-game winless streak that preceded it. The goal that cut the Kings first-period lead in half came after a power play shot ricocheted off Drew Doughty to the waiting stick of Jake Voracek on the opposite side of the net. Voracek had the whole open side to shoot at and didn't miss.
Forty-one seconds later, Anze Kopitar hit the goal post after beating Elliott to the stick side (it may have even nicked the butt end of Elliott's stick.)
Earlier in the period, Oscar Fantenberg's power play shot from the point hit the cross bar and dropped behind Elliott. Robert Hagg alertly cleared it before it could be tapped in.
They also successfully appealed what would have been a fourth Los Angeles goal in the third period, arguing that Dustin Brown interfered with Elliott's ability to make a save.
Elliott, the NHL's second star last week, had his moments – such as a spectacular sprawling save on, and a point-blank glove grab to rob Marian Gaborik in the second. But he was not the same acrobat who fueled much of the six-game streak, allowing four goals on 25 shots, getting beat cleanly on three of the four Los Angeles goals. If not for a few posts (more on that below) and that overturned goal, it could have been worse.
Meanwhile Jonathan Quick was, well, Jonathan Quick. Twice the Kings scored immediately after Quick had turned aside a dangerous scoring chance on the other end.
Provy a little off
Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov, who is averaging over 25 minutes of ice time this season, had an uncharacteristically sloppy night. He nearly lost the puck skating in front of his own crease in the first period. Then, inexplicably, a soft cross-ice pass in his own zone was picked off by Jonny Brodzinski for a juicy chance in the second period.
With a sparse and often dulled crowd, it was sometimes possible to hear things said on the ice. Linesman Ryan Daisy had a tough night, nearly getting clobbered by a Radko Gudas check intended for a Kings forward and later getting bounced by Claude Giroux after he was bounced by Dustin Brown.
It was Gudas, by the way, who could be heard shouting "Move!'' at Daisy after nearly clobbering him. Earlier the Flyers defenseman, who has already served a 10-game suspension, leveled a crushing hit on Kings left winger Alex Iafallo into the sideboards a good three strides after he had passed the puck. There was no call. Phew.
Sammy in the house
Samuel Morin, the oft-injured 6-7 defenseman whom many Flyers fans are clamoring to be called up once healthy, took the short trip down the turnpike to take in Monday night's game with several Phantoms teammates. In and out of the lineup with a series of undisclosed injuries, Morin has played in only 12 games this season and just once since late November. He is expected to return to the lineup full time around the beginning of the new year.
The Phantoms play again on Wednesday at home against Hartford.