Kings Host Flyers At Staples Center To Close Out 2010

(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers could be without their two top defenseman tonight when they try to avoid a third straight loss in a battle with the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.

Already minus Chris Pronger for the next 4-to-6 weeks due to a right foot injury, fellow blueliner Kimmo Timonen suffered a lower-body injury in Tuesday's 6-2 loss at Vancouver and is questionable for tonight.

"I should be all right [Thursday]. I'll take the morning skate and we'll see how it feels," said Timonen. "I give a 50/50 chance.

"It's nothing really bad, but it's one of those things I have to step on the ice [Thursday] and see."

Though there is a chance Timonen can play, the Flyers did recall defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

One Flyer who could be making his return to the ice is Michael Leighton. The netminder has not played since a Game 6 loss in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks on June 9. He underwent back surgery in October after winning 17 games in the regular season and going 8-3 in the playoffs with a 2.46 goals-against average.

Leighton has never faced the Kings.

The Flyers have dropped two in a row following five straight victories and got goals from Danny Briere and Jeff Carter in Tuesday's loss, its first in Vancouver since 1989 to open a five-game road trip.

Brian Boucher stopped 24-of-28 shots before he was replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 19 saves on 21 shots in relief.

"From the drop of the puck they were all over us," Flyers defenseman Sean O'Donnell said.

Philadelphia hasn't dropped three in a row in regulation since Oct. 14-21 and will also be without forward Jody Shelley, who was suspended for two games after punching Vancouver defenseman Andrew Alberts during a post-whistle scrum. Shelley received a match penalty and his second ban of the month. He also sat out two games for a hit from behind versus Boston on Dec. 11.

The Flyers trail the Penguins by four points for first place in the NHL and Atlantic Division, while the Kings trail the Stars by three points for the top spot in the Pacific Division.

Los Angeles did not help its cause last night, falling 6-3 in Phoenix. The Kings kick off an eight-game homestand this evening and are 5-0-1 at home this month and 13-2-1 on the season. The Flyers are 10-3-3 on the road.

Marco Sturm, Brad Richardson and Ryan Smyth each had a first-period goal for the Kings, who saw a four-game winning streak come to an end.

Jonathan Quick was pulled midway through the second period after giving up six goals on 18 shots. Jonathan Bernier finished the contest in net and stopped all 13 shots he faced.

"We didn't play in any area of the game," said Los Angeles head coach Terry Murray. "They came out and were ready to play from the first shift on."

Bernier was already slated to start this game and faces the Flyers for the first time. He is 3-0 with a 1.67 GAA in three home starts this season.

The Flyers notched a 3-2 victory in Los Angeles last year, giving them a win in four of five and eight of the last 10 meetings. Philly has also come out on top in two of three and five of the past seven at the Staples Center.

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