By Jenny Masters
Scott Laughton scored 2:22 into overtime, Cam Atkinson had a pair of goals and assisted on the game-winner, and the Flyers snapped a franchise-record 13-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at the Wells.
Laughton scored on the rebound of Atkinson’s shot as the Flyers picked up their first victory since Dec. 29.
Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and an assist, and Arthur Kaliyev and Anze Kopitaralso scored for the Kings. Los Angeles was playing its fourth game of a six-game road trip.
With a long losing streak and heavy snowstorm blanketing Philadelphia, the Flyers thanked the diehard fans who showed up with free parking outside and free pretzels, hot dogs and soda inside the arena. The club closed the upper level, and the lower level appeared about 75% full.
The Flyers gave those who braved the weather something to cheer about, something that has been rare of late.
But it sure wasn’t easy.
The Flyers looked like they had their first win in 2022 in regulation, but Kopitar scored on a backhander after a scramble in front of the goal with 37.4 seconds left in the third.
Laughton sent the fans home happy, though – and likely allowed the Flyers to breathe a huge sigh of relief – when he followed Atkinson’s shot from the slot with a rebound goal from close range. Ivan Provorov was in the crease, but the goal stood after an officials’ review.
Atkinson’s second goal was a short-handed tally and came on a breakaway, putting Philadelphia up 3-1 with 10:54 remaining in regulation. Atkinson sped toward Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, then hit the brakes and deked to his right. Quick lunged to stop the forehand try with an excellent glove stop, but Atkinson used his backhand to put home the rebound for his team-leading 17th tally.
Kaliyev brought Los Angeles within a goal just 45 seconds later when his slapshot through a screen on a power play got past Hart.
After a flurry of shots and a scramble in front, Kopitar sent a backhander from the circle under a sprawling Hart to force OT.
Mayhew atoned for a silly penalty earlier in the first period that Philadelphia escaped without damage thanks to an excellent save by Carter Hart on a Kings power play by netting his third of the season 9 ½ minutes into the contest. Rasmus Ristolainen displayed stellar stickwork in the slot before a backhand pass to Mayhew, whose wrister from a sharp angle beat Quick.
The Flyers got some puck luck, too, as two Kings shots clanged off the iron, including Alex Iafallo’s chance with 5:42 to play in the period.
Each team got a goal in the second.
Atkinson’s first gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead midway through the period. Claude Giroux sent the puck toward the net during a shift change. It took a high hop in front of Quick and bounded off the Kings goalie to a wide-open Atkinson, who shot high over Quick’s left shoulder.
Arvidsson pulled Los Angeles within 2-1 with 4:45 left in the second, finishing a 2-on-0 break with Sean Durzi. Phillip Danault got the secondary assist and really made the goal happen with a twirl-around backhanded pass to Durzi that left the Flyers helplessly out of position.