Ivan Provorov admitted that his first game against Chicago was on his mind as he entered the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday morning for an afternoon clash with the Blackhawks. He wanted to use that October stumble - a game in which the defenseman finished with a minus-5 - as motivation as he navigates his rookie season.
Provorov did just that as he scored twice and managed to save a Blackhawks goal to power the Flyers to a 3-1 win.
The victory gives the Flyers a season-best four straight wins. Provorov's two goals came just 31 seconds apart in the second period to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. He crashed into the boards in celebration after his first goal, a sign that this game would be different than his first one against Chicago, when Provorov looked like a rookie after tripping over his skate and coughing up a goal.
The 19-year-old is just the sixth Flyers teenager - and the first Flyers teenage defenseman - to score twice in a game since the 1987-1988 season.
"This was a little bit better," Provorov said. "The last game, I had a few bad bounces. I didn't play my best at that game. But I put it behind me and learned from it. This was a better result."
Provorov's first goal tied the game at 1-1 three minutes into in the second period. The Flyers had outshot Chicago by 10 in the first period but had nothing to show for it. They finally broke through as Nick Cousins found Provorov, who sniped a shot from near the left circle.
Thirty-one seconds later, the Flyers had the lead when Provorov fired in another from almost the same spot on the ice. He received a feed from Michael Raffl and lasered the puck past the stick of Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling.
The Flyers added another five minutes later when Brayden Schenn scored off an assist from Travis Konecny. The team that struggled to score in the first period suddenly had three goals and all the momentum.
"I think you have to keep everything in perspective from a night like that," coach Dave Hakstol said, referring to Provorov's first outing against Chicago. "He is a guy that continues to work at his game, and continues to build.
"He didn't do a whole lot different tonight than he has really over the last 10 games. It was nice to see a couple of those pucks go in for him. They were good plays by him and the other guys on the ice. Obviously that is really important for us at that time in the hockey game."
The three goals were enough for Steve Mason, who saved 25 of the 26 shots he faced. Mason has a .946 save percentage over his last three games, all Flyers wins.
"You just have to have the work ethic night in and night out. And, I think we were struggling to find that," Mason said. "There's games when we were swarming and giving teams no other option, and other nights we were chasing the puck. Tonight was a good opportunity to come back after a couple great wins and get back to it. Overall the effort was there and it was exactly what we need."
Mason was bailed out in the second period by Provorov, who lunged to the ice and covered the puck with his glove after it slipped past Mason. The play was reviewed, but the official said the replay was inconclusive. The call on the ice stood. No goal - and the rookie's terrific day continued.