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Kings shut out Flyers for Stevens' first win as L.A. coach

Quick makes 35 saves, Lewis, Toffoli score in season opener

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Take away the presence of new coach John Stevens, and it would have been easy to mistake the play of the Los Angeles Kings in their season opener Thursday for the Darryl Sutter teams that won two Stanley Cup titles in three seasons.

The Kings were opportunistic on offense, tenacious on defense and rock solid on the penalty kill, and goalie Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in a 2-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Staples Center.

Trevor Lewis and Tyler Toffoli scored to help Stevens win his debut as Los Angeles coach.

 

[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Kings highlights]

 

"We had a 1-0 lead that we turned into a 2-0 lead, and then that's kind of been the staple of this team the last several years," Stevens said. "That can't go away."

Stevens was Flyers coach from 2006-09 and was 2-2-0 in four games as Kings interim coach in 2011-12 before Sutter officially took over.

After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs two of the previous three seasons, Sutter was fired April 10, and Stevens was hired 13 days later to improve an offense that finished 25th in the NHL in 2016-17 (2.43 goals per game).

Stevens said he saw signs of improvement in the season opener but acknowledged it's a work in in progress.

"It's going to continue to take some time to continue to improve on some of the areas," Stevens said. "Obviously, everyone wants to see more goals scored, but I do think there are some things happening. We had a couple goals scored off the rush."

Lewis beat goalie Michal Neuvirth to the glove side with a one-timer off a pass from center Nick Shore at 6:16 of the second period to make it 1-0.

Video: PHI@LAK: Quick bodies down Leier's shot in the 3rd

Toffoli scored from the top of the crease with 2:21 remaining in the game to make it 2-0. Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson had the assists.

It was the 45th NHL shutout for Quick, who is 4-4-0 in season openers for the Kings. Los Angeles had lost three straight openers.

"Obviously, he makes the key saves at the key times, but I think he managed the game well," Stevens said. "He got whistles when he needed to, steered rebounds out of harm's way when they had traffic coming to the net. His experience I thought was very evident tonight."

After scoring three power-play goals in a 5-3 win against the San Jose Sharks in their opener Wednesday, the Flyers were unable to convert on five chances with the man-advantage against the Kings. Los Angeles also was 0-for-5 on the power play.

"I thought we generated more tonight than we did last night, for sure 5-on-5, but we couldn't find a way to put one in the back off the net," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.

In his first start of the season after Brian Elliott played against the Sharks, Neuvirth made 25 saves, including a highlight-reel glove save on Anze Kopitar late in the first period.

Video: PHI@LAK: Toffoli scores to double the Kings' lead

 

Goal of the game

Kyle Clifford stole the puck from Flyers center Scott Laughton in the neutral zone and found Shore, who made the pass to Lewis charging through the left circle. It was Lewis' 14th NHL game-winning goal.

Video: PHI@LAK: Lewis buries feed from Shore for the goal

 

Save of the game

Quick, who made eight saves with Los Angeles shorthanded, ended Philadelphia's first power play in the first period with a chest save on a one-timer by Flyers center Valtteri Filppula through traffic with 3:28 left in the first period.

Video: PHI@LAK: Quick makes a nice save on Filppula's shot

 

Highlight of the game

Kings rookie forward Alex Iafallo make a centering pass from the left circle to Kopitar streaking down from the right slot, but Neuvirth was able to come across the crease and make the glove save with 1:19 left in the first period.

Video: PHI@LAK: Neuvirth robs Kopitar with a fantastic save

 

They said it

"You just got to deliver the message, which is a little bit different. But, really, I felt exactly the same going into a game. You always get a little bit nervous and excited. I did as a player, I do as a coach. That felt the same tonight." -- Kings coach John Stevens on his first game

 

"With it being my first game, I was a little hesitant early, and I wish I could go back and tell myself to get a lot more comfortable and start getting up the ice and playing my game." -- Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim on his NHL debut

 

Need to know

Quick is the third Kings goalie with a shutout in a season opener, joining Rogie Vachon (1977) and Stephane Fiset (1996, 1999). … Quick has made at least 30 saves in 13 of his NHL shutouts; the 35 saves were his seventh-highest total.

 

What's next

Flyers: At the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; PRIME, NBCSP, NHL.TV)

Kings: At the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-W, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Quick notches shutout as Kings down Flyers, 2-0

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