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Simmonds, Mason, Flyers keep Kings reeling

by Curtis Zupke

LOS ANGELES -- If there seemed to be something extra in Wayne Simmonds' goal celebration, there's a reason.

The Philadelphia Flyers forward let loose with a big fist pump after his 100th NHL goal came against his former team Saturday. It was the game-winner in Steve Mason's 22nd career shutout, a 2-0 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

Simmonds scored 39 of those goals for Los Angeles from 2008-11.

"That was my 100th goal," Simmonds said. "So I've been waiting for that one for a while. I got my first one here, and my 100th one in this building. That was pretty nice.

"I think I've been sitting on 99 for part of the last five games. It felt good to get it, for sure."

Mason made 34 saves, and Claude Giroux scored with 1:59 left to lift the Flyers out of a 1-4-1 slide in their previous six games and give them a split in the first two games of their California trip. The Flyers are 7-1-1 all-time at Staples Center.

Mason made 27 saves in the final two periods. Los Angeles usually lives on low-scoring games, but the Flyers managed to keep the Kings on the perimeter.

"I think it's been a while that we won a game on a low score," Giroux said. "I think, defensively, we had a good attack. We're a fast team when want to, so we've just got to keep skating out there."

Los Angeles was shut out for the third time in five games and is 1-7-1 in its past nine. The Kings have have three goals in six games, all by Anze Kopitar, and their scoreless streak is at 110:28. They outshot the Flyers 35-13, not including a wraparound by Justin Williams that hit the post.

"I'm pretty frustrated, but like I said, you've got to get over it," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "You've got to get past it. This can make us stronger. Going through this little slip, it seems like it happens every year with the Kings at some point. We're going turn this thing around and we're going to go the other way with it and become better from it."

It was the second straight game one of the Kings' former players came back to extend their miseries. Los Angeles was defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins and former Kings goalie prospect Jeff Zatkoff on Thursday. Doughty is good friends with Simmonds.

"We were chirping each other all game," Simmonds said. "[He was] skating by me, sticking me a little bit. But it's all in the fun of the game."

Simmonds completed a tic-tac-toe play to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead at 7:48 of the second period. Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin committed a turnover trying to get the puck out of his end, and Vincent Lecavalier and Giroux set up a wide-open Simmonds for his 18th goal of the season.

Mason kept Philadelphia clinging to the 1-0 lead during a big push by the Kings at the end of the period. He made 14 saves and stopped Slava Voynov from the slot. The Kings had at least two other prime chances, but Dustin Brown shot the puck wide after a takeaway in the high slot and Doughty missed a tip shot.

Giroux converted a power-play goal for his 17th.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter tweaked his lines again and put Tyler Toffoli up with Kopitar and Jeff Carter on the top line.

"You have to score to win," Sutter said. "You can't get frustrated. You can't allow guys who are playing well to get frustrated. You have to see if they can work their way out of it."

Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen was scratched with a lower body injury and is day-to-day, the team announced. Timonen had played in all previous 55 games this season.

Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr played in his 1,000th game. The Kings play the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

The Flyers play the San Jose Sharks on Monday knowing they can grind out a win against a tough Pacific Division opponent.

"We talked about playing the Kings, they are a big, strong, team," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "They play good defense. We need to match that. I thought our guys did a good job. I know we didn't create a lot offensively, but we capitalized on the power-play goal, which is huge. I like the battle. I like the competitiveness of the team right now."

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