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November 17, 2015

Kings 3, Flyers 2: Gostisbehere scores, but Quick turns back Flyers in shootout

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I’m not particularly sure why sliced bread gets the reputation that it does, but three-on-three overtime is one of the greatest ideas in the history of everything. Ev-er-y-thing.

Our latest reminder of this simple truth was Tuesday night in South Philly. For the extra five minutes, the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings skated nonstop up and down the ice, split ten shots between them, traded unbelievable scoring chances... and somehow left the game to be decided in a shootout. 

"Yeah it’s pretty crazy," Claude Giroux said. "It’s a lot of fun."

Giroux scored a goal, but he was also stopped on a breakaway in overtime — "Yeah, I don’t know why I did that," was his reaction to skating into Jonathan Quick — and was one of three Flyers who couldn't beat Quick in the shootout. On Simon Gagne night, the team that Gagne captured a Cup with took down the Orange and Black, 3-2.

Aaron Bracy's gamer is here. Here’s what I saw:

•    Quick had been strong, stopping 30 of 31 shots that were sent in his direction through the middle of the third period. But at 11:11, Jake Voracek found Giroux in the slot and the captain caught the two-time Stanley Cup champ leaning the wrong way. His snap shot gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

•    It took Shayne Gostisbehere all of a couple days to quarterback the first power play unit, as the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac wrote. It then took him all of one power play to find the back of the net for his first NHL goal. The crowd roared in approval after this blast:

•    Dave Hakstol thought Ghost played a confident game. This is a pretty confident play, if I may say so myself (via Bob Roberts):

•    Strong effort from Steve Mason, especially when the Kings decided to throw the kitchen sink at the end of the game. On first watch, Milan Lucic’s tying goal in the final minutes appeared to take a couple of unlucky deflections through all of the traffic in front of the Flyers’ netminder. In all, Mason stopped 36 of 38 shots.

•    Some would argue Lucic's goal was coming as the Kings were applying pressure, but after the game, Hakstol chose to view it through a more positive lens. For what it's worth, I think it was probably a little bit of both.

"We did a lot of things right on that play as well, including getting a piece to block that shot," Hakstol said after the game. "A bounce of the puck and it's in the back of our net, so we'll take the positives, push forward, and have an effort we can build off of going into Thursday night."

•    The reshuffled first line (Giroux, Voracek, Brayden Schenn) had a shift in the second period where they peppered Quick’s net. Schenn hit the post and then saw the puck go off his foot into the back of the net. After appealing to Toronto, the officials decided to take it off the board. The “distinct kicking motion” ruling prompted some good Twittering from the Kings’ official account:

Schenn, who registered eight shots and had a +5 on-ice Corsi differential, definitely kicked the puck into the net. But was it distinct? Hakstol didn't think so.

"They don't get too many wrong in Toronto," Hakstol said. "I guess I didn't see a distinct kicking motion, but again like I said, I haven't gone back and looked on it after the game here. They took a long look at it and the call they made is the call they made so you move forward."

•    The Kings are the best puck possession team in the league, and the Flyers got out-Corsi’d 52-36 at five-on-five tonight. From here, it felt like they held up a little better than the numbers would indicate. Again, Hakstol agreed.

"I always call a spade a spade, good or bad," Hakstol said. "Our team played hard, we played well tonight."

Up next

Can the Flyers get back on the winning track? If so, they will have to do it against another Pacific Division foe on Thursday night in South Philly, the San Jose Sharks (9-8-0). Puck drop is a little after 7:00 p.m.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann