Ivan Provorov lifts Flyers to 4-3 overtime win in Montreal to complete magical November
The team tied a franchise record for points in November – 24, done three other times – with a gritty win Saturday at the Bell Centre.
MONTREAL -- As defenseman Ivan Provorv took the puck in his own zone and headed up ice in overtime, he could hear his teammates shouting from the bench.
“Forward! Forward! Forward!”
They were telling Provorov he was going one-on-one against Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi.
That’s when Provorov clicked on the afterburners as he reached the right circle, put the puck through his legs to go around Domi, and then made a sweet move to slip the puck past goalie Keith Kinkaid.
The artistic goal, scored 31 seconds into overtime, lifted the Flyers to a 4-3 overtime victory over Montreal on Saturday at the Bell Centre and increased their wining streak to four straight games.
“I didn’t think he had that move in his repertoire,” coach Alain Vigneault said.
The Flyers tied a franchise record for points in November – 24, done three other times – with the gritty win.
“They kind of gave me room to skate, and I saw it was a forward skating backwards‚” said Provorov after the first overtime goal of his NHL career. “So I figured I had time, and I figured I’d try it, and it worked. You grow up watching people make those moves, and some days in practices you do what you want to try in games. And I guess it was one of those games. It’s the first time it’s worked for me in the NHL.”
“It’s no surprise to me. I saw him do that in junior [hockey] a lot,” Travis Konecny said.
Brian Elliott made 39 saves for the Flyers, who handed the Canadiens their seventh straight defeat.
The Flyers had a league-best 24 points (10-2-4) in November. They registered just their fourth 10-win month in the last decade. The others were February 2018 (10-1-2), March 2012 (11-3-2), and January 2011 (10-2).
The Flyers were playing their fourth game in the last five-and-a-half days and on back-to-back days. They looked fatigued in the second half of the game, which turned into a shooting gallery in front of Elliott. Montreal outshot the Flyers, 42-29.
“I thought we gutted it out,” said Kevin Hayes, who contributed his eighth goal. “It was a great team win.”
A beautifully executed three-on-two ended with Konecny whipping a left-circle wrist shot past Kinkaid to give the Flyers their first lead, at 3-2, with 18 minutes, 26 seconds left in the third period. Claude Giroux and Michael Raffl had the assists.
Montreal, however, answered with Tomas Tatar’s power-play goal less than two minutes later. The Flyers’ penalty kill had been 19-for-20 in their previous six-plus games before Tatar struck from the left circle to make it 3-3.
Elliott was the only reason the Flyers weren’t behind after two periods. The veteran goalie made four outstanding saves late in the second period to keep the game tied at 2-2. He stopped 19 of 20 second-period shots.
Earlier in the second, the teams combined for three goals in a dizzying 72-second span that tied the game at 2-2.
Justin Braun’s point drive was deflected by Oskar Lindblom (team-high 11th goal) past Kincaid to knot the score at 1-1 with 12:13 left in the second. It was originally credited to Braun but changed after the game.
Twenty-seven seconds later, Tatar (two goals) won a puck battle with Braun in front and beat Elliott to put the Habs back in front, 2-1.
Just 45 seconds after Tatar’s goal, Hayes took a pass from Farabee and scored on a spin-around shot from the high slot, tying the score at 2-2 with 11:01 to go in the second.
“He’s a young kid, but it looks like he’s been in the league for a while,” Hayes said of the 19-year-old Farabee. “He has the skills to be a great player in this league.”
Montreal scored on the game’s first shot, a right-circle drive by Joel Armia (nine shots) that handcuffed Elliott 19 seconds after the opening faceoff. Elliott would make amends.
“That first goal shouldn’t go in,” Elliott said. “You want to make up for it the rest of the game. We did a good job of not getting too low and kept plugging away. I think that’s what we’ve done well as of late.”
Defenseman Phil Myers went back into the lineup and Robert Hagg was a healthy scratch. … In November, Carter Hart had a 1.94 GAA and .927 save percentage in 10 games (6-2-2). ... In the third period, Raffl replaced Morgan Frost on Giroux’s line, and Frost dropped down in the lineup.