(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers will try to put together their third four-game winning streak of the 2011 calendar year, and pick up a fourth straight victory over the Los Angeles Kings in the process, in a matchup between the clubs this afternoon at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers are 13-3 in the new year and lead the Eastern Conference with 77 points. They have also won three straight overall as well as four in a row at home. Philadelphia closes out a four-game homestand today and is 19-7-2 as the host this season.
Thanks to power-play goals from Jeff Carter and Danny Briere and 31 saves by Brian Boucher, the Flyers defeated the Hurricanes, 2-1, on Thursday. Philadelphia also killed off all five Carolina power plays. "I think we can play those one-goal games," said Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette. "I think also we can play better, instead of defending a one-goal game, we should be looking for more attack in that game, not sitting back."
The Flyers did give up a goal just 40 seconds after making it 2-0 and are the only team in the NHL without a shutout this year. Carter has six goals in his last six games. Philadelphia has won its last three meetings with the Kings, including a 7-4 victory in Los Angeles on Dec. 30. The Flyers have taken nine of the last 11 meetings overall as well and four straight and nine of the last 10 in the City of Brotherly Love.
Flyers captain Mike Richards had two goals and two assists in the last clash, while Claude Giroux ended with three assists. Ryan Smyth paced the Kings with a pair of goals. The Kings bring an eight-game point streak into this meeting, going 6-0-2 in that span. That includes a 3-0-2 mark on a 10-game road trip that featured a 4-1 triumph in Washington on Saturday afternoon.
Michal Handzus and Anze Kopitar both had a goal and an assist, while Andrei Loktionov and Jarret Stoll added scores. Jonathan Bernier made 22 saves. "Obviously, I think the team played one of our best hockey games, for sure," Bernier said. "I think guys were really willing to pay the price, coming back hard to our zone, and that makes a huge difference for a goalie, that's for sure."
Los Angeles is just two points back of a playoff spot despite currently sitting last in the Pacific Division and is 13-13-2 as the guest this season. Bernier was pulled during the second period versus the Flyers in December and was relieved by Jonathan Quick, who is likely to get the start today. Quick is 1-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA versus the Flyers.