Flyers Find a Way, Rally Past Sabres in OT
It's hard to look back at this month and easily identify the worst for the Flyers. There's a 9-0 loss with a seven-goal second period. There's a game they trailed 6-0 less than four minutes into a second period. And then there was the first 40 minutes of Monday's game against the Sabres.
The Buffalo Sabres, a team on a 17-game winless streak, had opened up a 3-0 lead on the Flyers, looking poised to break that long drought.
Then in the third period, as the Flyers have done countless times already, they crawled their way back out of the hole they had dug out for themselves. There was one goal early in the period. There was another at the mid-point. There was another in the closing moments of the game with the net empty at the other end.
After coming all the way back, Ivan Provorov finished the game off with the game-winner in overtime, giving the Flyers a 4-3 win over the Sabres.
The Sabres came out firing from the start, and the Flyers never matched their speed and urgency. Buffalo drew an early power play, and while the Flyers killed off the penalty, the Sabres had all of the momentum from there.
Finally, at 17:41 of the period, the Sabres cashed in. With all five Flyers on the opposite side of the ice, the Sabres won a battle and got the puck to a wide-open Henri Jokiharju. He walked in alone and beat Brian Elliott through the five-hole to make it 1-0.
With 10 seconds left in the period, Scott Laughton took a delay of game penalty. Shots through 20 minutes were 13-8 Buffalo.
The Flyers killed off the remaining 1:50 of the penalty to open the second, but the Sabres got right back on the board just 20 seconds later. A puck off the skate of Riley Sheahan made its way to Tobias Rieder in the corner. He set up Cody Eakin in the slot and he beat Elliott short side to make it 2-0 at 2:10.
A couple of minutes past the midpoint of regulation, the Sabres struck again off another poor coverage play. Brandon Montour was the late man into the zone and after Tage Thompson had his shot attempt blocked, he was able to regain control and pass back to Montour for the shot that beat Elliott to make it 3-0.
The Flyers closed out the period out-shooting the Sabres, 12-9, but could not cut into the margin and entered the third period trailing by three.
Early in the third, the Flyers got on the board. Travis Sanheim pounced on a turnover and centered for Kevin Hayes, who fired a one-timer that hit off the post, then the leg of Linus Ullmark to make it 3-1 at 1:50.
Midway through the period, the Flyers had a power play go by the wayside, only to score moments after. Jake Voracek got the puck into the slot and Sean Couturier made the alert play to drop to a wide-open Claude Giroux for the goal into a open net, cutting the lead to one with 9:09 to play.
Shortly after, the Flyers were back on a power play and got several good looks, but did not score, keeping the Sabres lead at one.
In the final minutes of regulation, the Flyers got Elliott to the bench and survived a near-miss for the Sabres into the empty net. Back the other way, the Flyers got a friendly bounce on the tying goal. A point shot by Provorov deflected off of Couturier and in to even things up at three with 1:29 remaining.
That forced overtime, and it took just 42 seconds for the Flyers to finish it off. After Giroux was knocked down twice in his own zone, he managed to get the puck ahead to Travis Konecny on a two-on-one. Konecny got the pass across to Provorov, who went to the backhand and scored to win the game.
Elliott made 29 saves in the win. Ullmark made 32 saves in the loss.
Provorov, Couturier and Giroux each finished with a goal and an assist.
The Flyers and Sabres get back on the ice on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.
- BUF Henri Jokiharju (2) (Curtis Lazar, Kyle Okposo) 17:41
- BUF Cody Eakin (2) (Tobias Rieder, Riley Sheahan) 2:10
- BUF Brandon Montour (2) (Tage Thompson, Taylor Hall) 12:43
- PHI Kevin Hayes (11) (Travis Sanheim) 1:50
- PHI Claude Giroux (9) (Sean Couturier, Jake Voracek) 10:51
- PHI Couturier (10) (Ivan Provorov, Giroux) 18:31
- PHI Provorov (5) (Travis Konecny) 0:42