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Kings continue 10-game trip in Philadelphia

by John Kreiser

KINGS (30-22-3) at FLYERS (36-13-5)

TV -- CSN-Philadelphia (HD)

Last 10 -- Los Angeles 6-2-2; Philadelphia 8-2-0

Season series -- It's the second meeting of the season between the Second Six rivals. The Flyers won 7-4 at Los Angeles on Dec. 30 and have won the last three meetings between the teams.

Big story -- The "Kings Across North America" tour comes to Philadelphia, where the Flyers have put some room between themselves and the rest of the Eastern Conference by winning their last three games. Los Angeles is on a roll of its own, but despite getting points in their last eight games, the Kings are still on the outside looking in at the top eight in the West.

Team Scope:

Kings -- L.A. is doing just fine on its 10-game road trip. The Kings reached the halfway point on Saturday with a solid 4-1 win at Washington. Jonathan Bernier made 22 saves and the Kings scored three times in the third period to break open a 1-1 game.

"It's a big two points for us," Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said after the Kings improved to 3-0-2 on the trip and 6-0-2 in their last eight games. "To come into this building, against a great hockey club and play a pretty solid defensive game, first of all, and then to be able to score some goals, which have been hard to find for us recently."

Flyers -- While most NHL teams have a clearly defined starter and backup in goal, the Flyers have ridden a two-headed goaltending tandem to the top of the NHL standings. On Thursday it was Brian Boucher's turn to shine -- he made 31 saves in a 2-1 victory against Carolina. Boucher is 13-6-2 with a 2.25 goals-against average, while rookie Sergei Bobrovsky is 22-7-3 with a 2.49 GAA.

"I don't get the feeling that there's an 'I'm the No. 1 guy here and you're the No. 2 guy,'" Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told the team's website when asked about his goaltenders. "But it's at the point where you say 'go ahead and pick out our first line or our first D [defense] pairing, who's our No. 1 power-play unit'? We're built without numbers here."

Who's hot -- Kings forward Justin Williams has 5 points in his last three games. Goalie Jonathan Quick, the Kings' likely starter, is 4-0-1 in his last five starts while allowing just eight goals. … Boucher has allowed just two goals in winning his last two starts. Forward Claude Giroux has 4 assists in his last three games, while Jeff Carter has goals in each of his last three games and in four of his last five.

Injury report -- Los Angeles forward Marco Sturm (knee) has been practicing but isn't ready to return. … Except for forward Ian Laperriere, who hasn't played all season due to a concussion, the Flyers are healthy.

Stat pack -- The Flyers and Kings came into the NHL together in 1967, but the series between the teams has been incredibly one-sided. The Flyers are 9-0-1 in their last 10 home games against the Kings since April 1, 1993 -- meaning that Los Angeles has never won in regulation in the Wells Fargo Center. Overall, the Flyers are 82-36-15-2 against the Kings.

Puck drop -- The most relieved King after Saturday's game was No. 1 center Anze Kopitar, who knocked in a rebound for the game-tying goal in the second period. It was his first goal in 11 games and second in 21.

Kopitar's lack of production has generated some heat -- and some line changes by Murray, who's desperate to get more offense out of his top center.

"My shoulders got a little rusty, because I haven't had my arms in the air for a while now,'' Kopitar said. "But I'm ready to get that rust off and score a little bit more."

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