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No Hart again, but Flyers finish Cali trip with character win

No Hart again, but Flyers finish Cali trip with character win originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Flyers picked up one of their most impressive wins of the season by knocking off the Kings, 4-2, Saturday night at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Morgan Frost had a breakout performance with two goals. Owen Tippett and Cam Atkinson netted the Flyers' other markers.

In a surprise start, Cal Petersen beat his old club with 35 saves.

After losing Tuesday to the previously winless Sharks, the Flyers came back to win the final two games of their three-game California road swing. They did so by a combined score of 10-5.

The Flyers (7-7-1) have won consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 17-19, the third and fourth games of the season.

The Kings (8-3-3) entered with just two regulation losses and those were to the Bruins and Avalanche.

John Tortorella's club split its two-game regular-season series with Los Angeles. The Flyers were shut out by the Kings, 5-0, a week ago in Philadelphia.

• Give the Flyers credit, they showed character in bouncing back from the 2-1 loss to San Jose, a team that was off to a historically bad start at 0-10-1. The Flyers became a punching bag for a few days, but they responded well to it.

This win over Los Angeles was meritorious for many reasons.

The Kings came in riding an eight-game point streak (6-0-2). They were home Thursday and didn't play Friday.

The Flyers, on the other hand, didn't have Carter Hart and were playing on the second night of a back-to-back set.

After beating the Ducks, 6-3, the Flyers got out to a 3-0 lead Saturday night and never really came in danger of losing it.

They played ahead in both games, protected leads and grabbed wins against two teams that took it to them in Philly.

• Hart, originally announced as the Flyers' starter, ended up not playing for a second straight game because of an illness. The 25-year-old netminder has missed the last five games.

Hart has been cleared to return from his mid-body injury, which kept him out for three games.

As a result of Hart's absence, Petersen faced his former team for the second time in eight days. The 29-year-old came to the Flyers from Los Angeles in the three-team Ivan Provorov trade this offseason. He opened the season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

"It has been a challenging part of my career, but I think ultimately it's going to make me a better goaltender, a better person and hopefully a better NHLer," he said a week ago after losing to the Kings in his first start with the Flyers. "Sometimes you don't know when these bumps are going to happen, but regardless of the outcome tonight or how things have started, I really feel like I'm on a good trajectory and the best is yet to come for me."

Petersen was sharp and steady in the rematch with his old club. It was his first NHL win in almost a year and had to feel good.

Cam Talbot, who blanked the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center, gave up four goals on 26 shots this time.

Atkinson's tally felt like a dagger as it extended the Flyers' lead back to three at 4-1 a little over seven minutes into the third period. The play all started with a great forecheck and takeaway by Tyson Foerster.

• In the second period, Frost benefited from a fortuitous bounce on his first goal of the season. But he created his luck by making the play happen. And about 10 minutes later, he scored No. 2 on a redirection in front.

Good for him. Frost stayed positive despite being benched for six consecutive games, including the home opener. The 24-year-old center has points in back-to-back games after being a healthy scratch for the seventh time to start the trip.

Sean Walker, also a former King who was a part of the Provorov trade, played an excellent game.

The defenseman blocked a shot and then sprung Tippett for a game-opening breakaway goal in the first period.

The Flyers blocked 20 shots.

Walker finished with two assists and a plus-3 rating in 22:53 minutes.

He has pleasantly surprised just about everybody as one of the Flyers' best blueliners through 15 games.

Bobby Brink and Egor Zamula were healthy scratches.

Both young players are going through everyday NHL workloads for the first time in their careers, so the Flyers likely felt this was a good time to get them a break.

It was the second game of a back-to-back set against a quality, veteran-laden Kings team.

Ryan Poehling and Victor Mete drew into the lineup.

• The Flyers will come back home before they visit the Hurricanes on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET/TNT).

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