3 Stars: Jeff Carter feels at home as Kings snap Flyers’ winning streak

3 Stars: Jeff Carter feels at home as Kings snap Flyers’ winning streak

The Philadelphia Flyers’ 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday from the perspective of three players and/or inanimate objects.

 

3. Ray Emery

On one hand, there was at least one goal Emery would like to have back. Then again, if it weren’t for the Flyers’ No. 2 netminder, the orange and black are probably never in this game in the first place.

Emery helped Philadelphia survive blistering first and second periods where the Kings nearly doubled up the home team in shots, 33-18. The Flyers were trailing 2-0 after two, but would briefly come back and tie the contest during the last frame before Dwight King potted the game-winner for LA on a two-on-one rush—not much the goaltender could’ve done about that.

Overall, Emery was solid while stopping 38 of 41 shots on goal. If only the Flyers had not been so thoroughly outplayed over the first 40 minutes, maybe the effort between the pipes wouldn’t have been wasted.

Emery’s record fell to 8-10-1 on the season as Philly’s winning streak was snapped at five.

 

2. Iron

Sure, Jonathan Quick played well in the opposite crease, halting 30 of 32 Flyers shots in victory. That being said, he can thank Vincent Lecavalier, both posts and the crossbar for bailing him out of at least one potential disaster.

The orange and black caught Iron a number of times throughout the contest, but none were more heartbreaking and unbelievable than Lecavalier’s chance that ricocheted around the entire mouth of the goal and ultimately stayed out somehow. The worst part: with Quick caught out of position, Vinny had what amounted to an empty net to shoot at.

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Despite the laws of physics seemingly being broken here, Iron’s atomic number remains at 26 for the season.

 

1. Jeff Carter

Difficult as this may be to believe, Monday marked the first time Jeff Carter played a game at the Wells Fargo Center since the Flyers traded him to Columbus in 2011. If his play was any indication, the former Flyers first-round pick had been waiting for this day for a long time.

Carter got the scoring started in the second period, although Kings defenseman Alec Martinez’s cross-ice pass did the bulk of the work. It was elementary by the time Carter received the puck in the faceoff circle, snapping a shot past Emery arriving on to the scene late. The marker was Carter’s 25th of the season.

On top of lighting the lamp, the guy seemed to be everywhere, ripping a game-high seven shots on Emery and registering a couple of hits over 18 minutes of ice time. Carter came to play.

Sending Philadelphia a message? Perhaps, but there was always the potential Carter was going to take over a game on any given night. Not sure I’d go that far in describing his performance here, but he certainly was a force.

>> Box Score

NBA Playoffs: Warriors sweep their way to 3rd straight NBA Finals

NBA Playoffs: Warriors sweep their way to 3rd straight NBA Finals

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO -- Stephen Curry scored 36 points as the Golden State Warriors closed out the Western Conference Final against the injury-ravaged San Antonio Spurs with a 129-115 victory Monday night, becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12-0.

Golden State led by as many as 22 points in cruising to its third straight NBA Finals. The Warriors await a possible third straight championship matchup with Cleveland, which leads Boston 2-1 in the East finals.

"It's great to be one of the last two teams standing, we'll see how it goes," said Kevin Durant, who had 29 points and 12 rebounds.

San Antonio's only lead came on the opening possession when Manu Ginobili tossed in a left-handed scoop shot. The Spurs started Ginobili in what could be his final game with the team. The 39-year-old had maintained he will not ponder whether to retire or return until after the season.

Unsure if the beloved veteran will return, the crowd serenaded Ginobili with "Manu, Manu" chants as the game came to a close.

"An amazing competitor, even more fun playing against him," Durant said of Ginobili. "He was phenomenal this series."

Kyle Anderson scored 20 points to lead the Spurs, who were without Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and David Lee. San Antonio didn't go down without a fight despite the injuries.

Anderson dove on the court for a loose ball that the Spurs had tipped away defensively, pushing the ball upcourt to Patty Mills who fed Ginobili for a 3-pointer that pulled San Antonio to 108-94 with 7 minutes remaining.

The effort made Spurs coach Gregg Popovich smile and clap at times, but the Warriors' depth and talent proved too much for short-handed San Antonio.

Golden State shot 56 percent and were 14 for 39 on 3-pointers.

Draymond Green had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Warriors.

Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge closed out a disappointing series with his second eight-point effort against the Warriors.

Ginobili finished with 15 points in 32 minutes.

Phillies held to 3 hits again, pounded by Rockies in return home

Phillies held to 3 hits again, pounded by Rockies in return home

BOX SCORE

The loudest noise made by the Phillies' offense on Monday night was the thud — clearly audible above the small crowd — that Odubel Herrera created when he smashed his batting helmet on the dirt infield after grounding out to third base to end the seventh inning.

Herrera's frustration spoke for an entire team. The Phillies were hammered, 8-1, by the Colorado Rockies (see Instant Replay). They were out-hit, 13-3. The loss was the Phils' 18th in the last 22 games and they have been outscored 126-89 over that span.

The loss left the Phils at 15-27 for the season, matching their worst 42-game start since 2000 when they finished 65-97 in front of tiny crowds at Veterans Stadium in Terry Francona's last season as skipper.

Over the last two games, both losses, the Phils have just six hits.

"Three hits today, three hits yesterday," manager Pete Mackanin said. "You're not going to win a lot of games getting three hits."

Aaron Altherr had two of the Phillies' hits, both doubles against Colorado rookie Jeff Hoffman, who was very impressive with seven walk-free innings and seven strikeouts.

Herrera went hitless in three at-bats and is hitting just .200 in the month of May and .232 overall -- not what the front office expected when it signed him to a five-year, $30.5 million contract extension in the offseason.

"It's very frustrating because I feel like I am being selective and waiting for my pitch, but when I make contact things don't happen," Herrera said. "I feel like I'm swinging the bat well, but I'm just missing."

Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff gave up nine hits, seven of which were singles, and four runs over six innings. Four of the hits that Eickhoff allowed came in the third inning when the Rockies scored three times. Two of the runs scored on a flare double and the other on a groundball through a drawn-in infield.

"I executed a lot of good pitches," Eickhoff said. "I got a lot of the contact I wanted. The ball just didn't land in the gloves."

Eickhoff did not walk a batter. He struck out four.

Despite being 0-5 with a 4.70 ERA in nine starts, the right-hander believes he has made strides his last two outings. He gave up three runs (two earned) over six innings in his previous outing at Texas. Prior to that start, he worked on fixing a mechanical flaw in his delivery.

"These past two have been night-and-day different," he said. "I felt great today in and in Texas and I'm going to keep that positivity going."

Finding other things to be positive about with this team is becoming difficult.

This Phillies team was not expected to contend; it is still in a rebuild. But things weren't supposed to be this bad, either.

"I’ll tell you what, I’m getting frustrated, too," general manager Matt Klentak said before the game. "This team is better … There is more talent on this team than we’ve shown in terms of our record.

"We’ll pull out of it. We will. That’s what talented players will do. I’m not going to tell the fans they shouldn’t be frustrated. We’ve gone through a tough stretch.

"But I’m not ready to call it regression. I think there’s been a lack of consistency on our team in general, with some players more than others. There’s been a lack of consistency, but especially for young players, two months is a relatively small sample size to categorize it as regression."

At 29-17, the Rockies have the best record in the National League. They have 16 road wins, which is one more than the Phillies have overall. The Rockies are in town for three more days. This ugly start could get even uglier.