Unfortunately for the Flyers, Cechmanek will be defending the Los Angeles net when he faces his former team for the first time.
Cechmanek had a 92-43-22 record over the last three years with Philadelphia, and his career goals-against average of 1.96 coming into this season was the lowest among goaltenders with at least 150 regular season games since 1943-44.
But Cechmanek’s unconventional style and erratic play in the postseason forced the Flyers to move him to Los Angeles in May for a second-round draft pick.
The Flyers replaced Cechmanek with Jeff Hackett, who has recorded two shutouts in his first three appearances to help Philadelphia remain one of only three undefeated teams in the NHL.
“He is really a focused guy,” Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock said of Hackett, who went 15-17-2 with a 2.86 GAA and .911 save percentage for Boston last season. “He makes it easy for our defensemen because he communicates with them.”
Philadelphia has won four straight over Los Angeles since the 2000-01 season, but each of those victories came with Cechmanek in goal. Cechmanek stopped 93 of 95 shots in those four wins for a 0.50 GAA as the Flyers outscored the Kings 15-2.
Cechmanek has gotten off to a slow start for Los Angeles this season, going 2-2 with a 3.01 GAA. He allowed a season-high four goals as the Kings had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 4-3 loss at home to the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
“We had a couple of problems, not big problems,” Cechmanek said about his stay in Philadelphia. “In the playoffs, maybe it wasn’t great, but not bad. The Kings play offensive hockey and I like it, more offensively and more European than in Philadelphia.
“It is something new, it’s great for me, gives me a new chance.”
STANDINGS (through Oct. 19): Flyers - 6 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Kings - 6 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Flyers - Mark Recchi, 3 goals and 5 points; seven with 2 assists; Keith Primeau and Todd Fedoruk, 17 PIM. Kings - Luc Robitaille and Trent Klatt, 3 goals; Ziggy Palffy, 8 assists and 10 points; Sean Avery, 12 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 19): Flyers - Power play: 24.0 percent (6 for 25), 6th (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 90.5 percent (19 for 21), 3rd. Kings - Power play: 22.2 percent (8 for 36), 9th. Penalty killing: 69.2 percent (18 for 26), 30th.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 2-0.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flyers - 1-0-1-0 on the road; Kings - 1-1-0-0 at home.