The Los Angeles Kings will try to cool off another red-hot team when they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
The Flyers are riding a seven-game point streak (5-0-2), which has enabled them to leapfrog the New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets and move into fifth in the Metropolitan Division.
The Kings hosted the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night and ended their seven-game winning streak with a 2-1 shootout victory.
It was a major turnaround from Tuesday night, when the Kings lost to the visiting Vegas Golden Knights 6-3 in their first game in nine days because of the league-wide shutdown due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
“(The Vegas) game was hard to play, first of all, because of the time missed and we forgot how hard it was to win,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “We forgot who we were and we just needed to be reminded of that.”
The Flyers picked up where they left off after being sidelined for 10 days. They beat the Seattle Kraken 3-2 in overtime coming out of the break on Wednesday.
Philadelphia then played its fourth straight overtime game on Thursday and lost 3-2 at the San Jose Sharks while getting outshot 46-25.
“We have to continue to focus on trying to build our game,” Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo said. “That’s not the game we want to be playing (against San Jose), where we’re spending that much time in our own zone. We don’t want to be a team that’s getting outshot, outchanced.”
Martin Jones will likely start in goal for the Flyers after Felix Sandstrom made his NHL debut on Thursday and made 43 saves.
Jones has played very well against the Kings in his career, owning a 19-6-3 record with a 2.24 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.
Jones broke into the NHL with the Kings as an undrafted player and backed up Jonathan Quick for two seasons before he was traded to the Boston Bruins in the summer of 2015. The Bruins flipped him to San Jose four days later.
Quick is expected to start for the Kings after he delivered a welcome bounce-back performance against the Canucks.
After giving up five goals on 15 shots and getting pulled in the second period against the Golden Knights, Quick stopped 17 of 18 shots and four of five attempts in the shootout against the Canucks.
“When you pull a goaltender, sometimes you pull him because he’s just not very good, and there’s other times when you pull him just to get the team jolted a little bit,” McLellan said. “I think the other day was a bit more of the second.”
The Flyers will be without one of their top offensive players.
Philadelphia announced shortly before the game against the Sharks that Sean Couturier was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury and is week to week.
Couturier is fourth on the team with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) and has finished among the top three for the Flyers in goals the past four seasons.
The Flyers will also be without Scott Laughton and Derick Brassard, who are in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
–Field Level Media