With the puck spinning on its edge like a quarter on a table, sitting in the sacred blue paint in front of an unknowing Jonathan Quick, Danny Briere tried to take a stab at it.
Before Briere’s stick could touch the puck, he was denied by Quick’s glove and the play was whistled dead.
Pushed by a Kings defenseman, Briere bounced against the end boards and looked up to the rafters and smiled. That was all he could do. The Flyers were exasperated and exhausted.
Quick kept the Flyers at bay for a full 60 minutes, shutting out the league’s highest-scoring offense as Drew Doughty scored the game’s only goal to give Los Angeles a 1-0 win at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday afternoon.
Quick stopped all 38 of the Flyers’ shots. It was the fifth time this season the Flyers have been shutout.
The Flyers’ power play squandered three opportunities, including a span in the second period that saw the Kings take two different bench minors for too-many-men on the ice. With a 5-on-3 advantage for just 20 seconds, Jeff Carter lost a faceoff to the right of Quick that sent the puck the length of the ice and killed any of the Flyers’ gained momentum.
Even with the loss, the Flyers maintained their three point lead in the Eastern Conference as Pittsburgh fell to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden earlier in the afternoon.
Los Angeles, under former Flyers coaches Terry Murray and John Stevens, climbed back into the 8th and final playoff spot in the West, despite being in last place in the Pacific division. No division has ever had all 5 teams make the playoffs in one season.
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