Cates, Flyers snap Kings’ unbeaten streak with 4-2 win
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Philadelphia Flyers are starting to find success through two unconventional means — short-handed goals and rookie goaltending.
Noah Cates scored a go-ahead, short-handed goal in the third period and Samuel Ersson made 27 saves to win for the second time in three starts as the Flyers snapped the Los Angeles Kings seven-game point streak with a 4-2 victory Saturday afternoon.
“We may not do the right things at certain times and may have struggles here and there, but we play hard,” coach John Tortorella said after the Flyers won consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 8. “I think if you continue to do that, you find a way to get some results.”
The Flyers have scored short-handed five times in the last six games. Cates gave Philadelphia a 3-2 lead at 13:01 of the third when his shot from the point went into the upper corner of the net.
“I just wanted to hop up and kill time. We had a couple of drivers go to the nets and I sifted one through a screen,” said Cates, who scored for the first time in 21 games. “Just killing those power plays can give us momentum. And if we put one in the back of the net, that’s huge for us.”
Ersson improved to 2-0 in net and kept the Kings scoreless after giving up a pair of first-period goals. After allowing five goals in his debut at Carolina on Dec. 23, he has allowed only five goals in the past two games.
“It’s huge, both for me and the group. We’re showing resilience and a lot of character,” Ersson said. “You feel like you always have a chance to come back in games like this. So just gotta keep going.”
Owen Tippett had a goal and an assist while Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny also scored for the Flyers, who have won three of their past five.
Philip Danault had a goal and extended his point streak to seven for the Kings, who were 6-0-1 coming into the game. Adrian Kempe also scored and Jonathan Quick made 19 saves.
“It felt like we could never get it going all night. We had spurts of good play, and then we’d fall off a little bit, so we probably got what we deserved tonight,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said.
Kempe opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 9:46 of the first period. The Kings had a two-man advantage and Kempe hammered in a one-timer from the right faceoff dot after getting a pass from defenseman Drew Doughty.
Laughton evened it at 12:15 of the first on the power play when he beat Quick on the short side with a slap shot from the right faceoff circle.
But 57 seconds later, Danault extended his point streak and gave the Kings a 2-1 lead when he got a pass from Viktor Arvidsson on a two-on-one rush and put a slap shot under Ersson’s glove from the left faceoff circle.
Danault, who has five goals and four assists during his streak, matched a career high set last season.
Tippett tied it at 9:02 of the second when he weaved past Los Angeles’ defense and knocked a snap shot into the upper corner of the net.
Konecny added an empty-net score with 27 seconds remaining.
Los Angeles defenseman Alexander Edler played in his 1,000th NHL game. He became the 15th Swedish-born skater and sixth defenseman to reach that mark. He also was the 16th player to reach 1,000 games in 2022, marking the third calendar year in league history with as many players reaching the milestone (18 in 2002 and 16 in 2009).
Flyers: Continue their road trip against Anaheim on Monday.
Kings: Host Dallas on Tuesday.
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