LOS ANGELES – Mika Pyorala scored his first NHL goal and backup goalie Brian Boucher made 37 saves as the Philadelphia Flyers opened a trip with their seventh victory in eight games, 3-2 over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk also scored, and Braydon Coburn had two assists for the Flyers, who played 12 of their previous 15 games at home and hadn’t left the East Coast this season before beginning the five-game trip.
Jarrett Stoll had a goal and an assist, and Jonathan Quick stopped 17 shots for the Kings, who have lost two straight at home after a fruitful five-game trip.
Before the game, Los Angeles confirmed top-line left wing Ryan Smyth has an apparently serious upper-body injury. The Kings’ second-leading scorer could be out for a month.
Drew Doughty trimmed the Flyers’ lead with a power-play goal on a long slap shot with 7:51 to play, but Los Angeles couldn’t even it despite outshooting Philadelphia 21-5 in the third period. The Kings had a golden chance while Quick was pulled with 15 seconds left, but Michal Handzus’ tip in front of Boucher skittered under the goalie and missed the post by perhaps an inch.
Boucher, the San Jose Sharks’ backup goalie during the past two seasons, had a remarkable final period in his first victory since his return to Philadelphia, where he spent his first three NHL seasons. The Flyers have given Ray Emery all but two starts this fall.
The Kings got their first taste of life without Smyth, the 15-year veteran whose steady presence at NHL scoring leader Anze Kopitar’s side has propelled Los Angeles to a solid start. Coach Terry Murray replaced Smyth on the top line with Alexander Frolov, who’s been shaky this fall after leading the Kings with 32 goals last season.
Kopitar was held scoreless for just the fifth time this season. He hasn’t scored a goal in five games, his longest drought of the season.
After Stoll scored his third goal in five games in the first period, Pyorala tied it midway through the second, flipping home a rebound with a backhand while falling face first to the ice. The 28-year-old Finnish centre hadn’t scored in his first 17 games with the Flyers, who signed him in July after he played in Sweden last winter.
Philadelphia took control after its first goal, dominating puck possession before Richards put the Flyers ahead late in the second period with a one-timer on a behind-the-net pass from Claude Giroux. Van Riemsdyk then boosted the lead with a goal in his third straight game early in the third period, deflecting a rebound off Quick.
NOTES: Richards began the season with six goals in five games, but has just three in 13 games since. … Los Angeles got a full 2-minute two-man advantage late in the first period, but was terribly disorganized and barely managed a shot on net.