Five observations from the Flyers' 4-3 overtime loss Monday to Arizona at the Wells Fargo Center:
You can't play inspired hockey for, oh, about half the game and expect to register a victory – even against an opponent that had lost its first 11 games.
The Flyers learned that lesson Monday. They were awful in the first period, and stuck in neutral for much of the second period before coming to life in the third period.
Give Arizona some credit. Coming off an excruciating loss in New Jersey, they played what coach Rick Tocchet called his team's best two periods of the season to start the game.
The Provy Show
Ivan Provorov, the second-year Flyers defenseman, is worth the price of admission.
Provorov, who had a breathtaking overtime shift in which he did everything but score, finished with a career-high three assists, seven shots,and three blocked shots in 28:06. His most important play of the night: keeping the puck in the offensive zone with his glove, helping set up the tying goal in the frantic closing seconds of regulation.
He's 20 years old and headed for stardom.
Former Flyer Zac Rinaldo used to play like a knucklehead, taking penalties at critical times. But he says he has learned from his past mistakes, and he backed up his words Monday. In 9:28 of ice time, the Coyotes' winger had six hits and no penalties. He has played in seven games and registered 30 hits without being penalized. Honest.
Against all odds
What were the odds the Flyers would get a point when they faced a 3-1 deficit and had less than a minute left?
They were off the board because they were so astronomical.
But they beat the odds and salvaged a point as goals by Jordan Weal and Sean Couturier forced overtime.
According to the NHL, it marked the second time in franchise history the Flyers scored two goals in the final minute to tie a game. They also did it on Feb. 3, 1980, when Reggie Leach and Rick MacLeish scored to tie Boston at 3-3.
Couturier still shining
Couturier continued his stunning offensive play with two more goals. That's nine goals in 12 games, which puts him on a 61-goal pace. He has never scored more than 15 goals in a season, and he credits his new wingers, Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux, for giving him numerous scoring chances.
Voracek returned the compliment.
"He goes to the net and he's a smart player," Voracek said. "He's getting rewarded, and it's good to see him scoring like that that. He's helping us get some points as a team."
Eye-opening statistic: In his last 32 games dating back to last season, Couturier has 32 points and is plus-28.