It only took a few minutes for Morgan Frost to turn a rather disappointing season into a somewhat promising one on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
The Flyers’ center, who had been scratched for six games after playing the first two games of the season, had yet to score a goal but all that changed in the second period as he scored twice to lead the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Kings at Crypto.com Arena.
Frost’s second goal at 16:30 of the second period gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead. He was providing traffic in front of the net and managed to get a piece of Nick Seeler’s point shot.
After the goal, Frost – who played on a line with Owen Tippett and Travis Konecny — kind of looked skyward as if to say thank goodness that’s over.
“It’s definitely been a bit of a bumpy road to start the year,” he said in a televised second intermission interview. “I tried to stay really positive through it all. When I get my chance in the lineup, I try to make the most of it. Yeah, that one felt good.”
Meanwhile, goaltender Cal Petersen avenged a 5-0 loss to his old teammates back in Philadelphia the previous Saturday with a strong performance in this game, which was his first win as a Flyer.
He didn’t find out until game day morning he was playing. Carter Hart was a late scratch.
This one meant a lot in front of Petersen’s former home crowd. “It’s amazing,” he said. “The guys battled really hard for me. To do it here means so much to me. This one was a little easier than the first game. For it to come against the Kings makes for a good memory.” The Flyers (7-7-1) finished their three-game western trip with a 2-1 mark.
After scoring a pair of third-period goals in the Flyers’ 6-3 win on Friday night in Anaheim, Tippett was back on the board fairly early in this game. His breakaway goal at 14:59 of the first period gave the Flyers’ a 1-0 lead.
Tippett raced in on goaltender Cam Talbot and went to his backhand. Talbot got a piece of the shot with his arm but the puck hopped up and into the net.
The Flyers came into the game with a 6-1 record when scoring first.
Tippett agreed the two goals at Anaheim gave his confidence a nice boost.
“I think it was huge,” he said. “I wanted to get back to playing better games. Just simplify things. I think when one of those goes in (the first one in Anaheim), it’s a weight off the shoulders.”
Frost scored his first goal to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead at 6:26 of the second period. Frost circled the net at high speed, emerged on the other side and then banked a shot off Jordan Spence’s skate and past Talbot.
The first goal for L.A. came late in the second period when Carl Grundstrom scored on a medium range shot.
Cam Atkinson made it 4-1 at 7:04 of the third. He is tied for third in NHL even-strength goals with eight.
The Kings closed to within two goals once again when Adrian Kempe scored at 9:50.
Coach John Tortorella liked the way his team played a more disciplined style in this game as opposed to the wide-open format against Anaheim.
“I just thought we were trading with Anaheim,” he said. “It was a bit of a run-and-gun game. We’re not equipped to do that. I think we’re creating a lot of offense but we can’t get into a run-and-gun. That’s where I thought of our patience came into play (tonight).”
He praised Frost’s effort.
“Hopefully that gives him some confidence,” the coach said. “Everybody keeps asking ‘why isn’t Frosty in the lineup?’ It was a good game for him tonight.”
. >Praise for Hitchcock
Former Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the shrine in Toronto on Friday.
Tortorella squared off against Hitchcock in the 2004 Eastern Conference finals when Tortorella was coaching the Tampa Bay Lightning and Hitchcock was running the show for Philadelphia.
There were some rather harsh words exchanged through the media between the two men but Tortorella says that’s all water under the bridge now. The two are pretty close friends.
“That (2004) series brings back memories,” Tortorella said at the morning skate in Los Angeles. “That was a long time ago.
“He’s a very good coach. I look at (Flyers’ assistant coach) Brad Shaw here, I look at Ken Hitchcock – two of the most interesting hockey minds around. Very detailed, very intelligent. I have tremendous respect for him (Hitchcock).”
Once again, regular starting goalie Carter Hart was a late scratch. He was ill on Friday night and apparently still wasn’t feeling well enough to play in this game, although he was announced as the starter at the morning skate. . .Defenseman Victor Mete made his Flyers’ debut. To make room for Mete, Egor Zamula was scratched. Mete had previous NHL experience with Montreal and Ottawa. . .The Flyers are off until Wednesday when they travel to Carolina to face the Hurricanes. . .Bobby Brink was a healthy scratch. Both Frost and Ryan Poehling were back in the lineup. . .Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Marc Staal remain on the injured list. . .Sanheim registered his 14th point and becomes the eighth Flyer defenseman in team history to get his 14th in his first 14 games of a season. . .Flyers went 0 for 4 on power play and are now 0 for their last 26 with the man advantage.