Flipping the calendar from 2015 to 2016 didn’t interrupt the Kings’ winning streak.
Playing their first game of the new year, the Kings scored twice on the Philadelphia Flyers in the first period Saturday and held on for a 2-1 victory at Staples Center. The victory was the fifth in a row for the Kings (25-11-2) but their first at home since Dec. 6, due in part to a busy road schedule.
Goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 29 shots by the Flyers.
The Kings next play at Colorado on Monday before they open a four-game homestand.
After killing an early penalty against Alec Martinez, the Kings took the lead at 7:33 of the first period. Radko Gudas’ ill-advised pass was intercepted by Kings winger Marian Gaborik, who turned and created a three-on-one with linemates Dwight King and Trevor Lewis.
Gaborik passed to King, who returned the pass, which allowed King to take a shot on the rush and score his second goal in his third game back from an ankle injury.
The Kings scored again, this time during a power play, at 17:16. Anze Kopitar, along the right-wing boards, slipped the puck back to Jake Muzzin at the point. He passed the puck ahead and to the left to Drew Doughty, whose one-timer flew into the upper-right corner of the net and beyond the reach of goaltender Michal Neuvirth. The assist was Muzzin’s 100th NHL point. The goal was Doughty’s seventh this season, six of them having been scored on the power play.
The second period was scoreless, thanks in part to a fine save by Neuvirth on a Kopitar shot in the final minute, but the Flyers cut their deficit in half at 7:50 of the third period. Muzzin was in the penalty box when the Flyers set up in the Kings’ zone and Jakub Voracek took a shot that was repelled by Quick’s pad. The rebound bounced in front, where former King Wayne Simmonds was stationed by the right post. He got the puck to the left side of the crease to Brayden Schenn, who, like Simmonds, was part of the 2011 trade that brought Mike Richards from Philadelphia to the Kings. Schenn jammed the puck in from short range for his eighth goal this season.
The Kings had to kill a penalty called on Tanner Pearson with 2:47 left in the third period but pulled it off.
The victory gave the Kings a 12-point lead atop the Pacific Division.
Follow Helene Elliott on Twitter: @helenenothelen