PHILADELPHIA – Saturday’s win over the Devils provided the Flyers with more than just a valuable two points.
/1. They got a power-play goal from their second unit, their first of the season by that group and just the second since the end of the 2016-17 season.
/2. Nolan Patrick returned from a nine-day injury leave to score his first goal of the season.
/3. It was probably Ivan Provorov’s best game of the season, stopping the bleeding of that seasonal minus-5 with a strong plus-2, including an assist on Jake Voracek’s winner with 3:10 to play.
Travis Konecny’s power-play goal at 10:41 of the first period was a pretty big deal because the Flyers are trying to get more balance this year.
The long-term injury to James van Riemsdyk kind of threw a bit of a wrench into that plan but at least they’re getting production from the unit of Konecny, Patrick and Jordan Weal.
“We’ve been working at it for a while (including rookie Mikhail Vorobyev, who was scratched on Saturday),’’ Konecny said. “It’s just one (goal). We’re not going to be settled in. We’re going to keep building off it.’’
It’s tough for the second unit, which usually only gets about 40 seconds per power play.
“We take what we get,’’ Konecny said. “Just check the stats of the other unit. They can stay out there (on the ice) as long as they need to.’’
Patrick centered a line of Voracek and Scott Laughton (who by the way was plus-3, with a goal, and was 8-0 on faceoffs).
Good chemistry for the good performance?
“I played with Jake for about 30 games last year and some this year,’’ Patrick pointed out. “And ‘Laughts’ is a good player. So they’re both easy to play with.’’
Provorov changed partners for this game, as he joined a slightly bigger partner in Robert Hagg (compared to Shayne Gostisbehere).
He actually blocked a shot with his head, which started the sequence leading to Voracek’s winner.
“Is that the first assist I’ve ever had with my head?’’ Provorov said with a grin. “I think so.
“I got the D-to-D pass from Travis (Sanheim), I looked one way, I saw two guys beat if I went on my backhand up the wall. That’s what I did and luckily it went by the D for a breakaway and he scored.’’
This was the kind of performance he was looking for to turn his season around.
“There were a few shifts where I could have been better,’’ he said. “But that’s hockey. Nobody’s perfect. I’m going to continue to get better.
“I don’t think I played bad this year. Just a few bad bounces. A little bad luck. But overall, I think I started good and now I’m going to go from good to great.’’
Good faceoff day
The Flyers were 44-for-60 (73.3 percent) on faceoffs. Sean Couturier led the way with a 14-for-16 game (87.5 pct). The last time a Flyer had 14 or more faceoff wins and two or fewer faceoff losses in a game was Feb. 3, 2010 when Jeff Carter went 15-for-16 in a 1-0 loss at Edmonton. Other Flyers standouts in the circle included Scott Laughton (8-for-8) Claude Giroux (7-for-10) and Jordan Weal (8-for-10).