A long break in the schedule and a long trip to the West Coast presented a big challenge for the Flyers but they managed to persevere with a stirring win on Wednesday night.
Ivan Provorov scored at 2:14 into overtime, lifting Philadelphia to a 3-2 win over the Kraken at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena.
The Flyers, who had not played since Dec. 18, extended their point streak to six games (5-0-1).
Provorov took a lead pass from Kevin Hayes and executed a nifty deke move to score.
“Hayes made a great pass,” Provorov said, “and I just had to put it in.”
Interim coach Mike Yeo watched the Flyers play pretty much on their heels through the first two periods but came alive toward the end of the game.
“Not good enough, the first two periods,’’ he said by way of media Zoom call. “We talked about coming out of the break, keeping it simple. The turnovers we had forced us to play in our zone way too much.’’
Good thing goaltender Martin Jones was on top of his game.
“In the third period I think we knew we were pretty fortunate to be in the position we were in,’’ Yeo said. “That’s when I thought we came out and had a better mindset. I thought we showed a lot of character tonight. The third period was a positive.’’
The Kraken took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Jeremy Lauzon with 5:28 to play in regulation time but James van Riemsdyk’s second goal of the game just 15 seconds later tied the score at 2-2.
Claude Giroux assisted on van Riemsdyk’s power-play goal at 4:44 of the first period, giving him career point No. 884, moving him past Bill Barber into second place on the Flyers’ alltime point scoring list.
“I’ve said it before, Bill Barber is obviously a legend in Philly and everything he’s done for the city, to be able to be in the same talk with him, it’s an honor,’’ Giroux said.
Bob Clarke is the alltime leader with 1,210 points.
Giroux’s pass from the left circle found van Riemsdyk at the top of the slot and he sent a shot past goalie Philipp Grubauer.
That resulted in Giroux’s 600th career assist. Also, he now has 308 power-play points over the past decade, seven more than Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the NHL’s most power-play points since 2010-11.
Seattle’s Yanni Gourde returned the favor at 12:46 on a Kraken power play. His long shot eluded Jones.
At one point spanning 14 minutes from the end of the first period into the second, the Flyers did not take a single shot.
“Turning over too many pucks,’’ Giroux said. “We weren’t supporting each other, we weren’t winning battles. In the third I thought we played a little more the way we want to play as a team.’’
>Goalie for Sharks game up to be decided
Jones had to face 36 Seattle shots, many of the quality chance variety. He would love nothing more than to play his former team, the Sharks, in San Jose on Thursday night but that would be quite a physical test.
“That (shot total) was something we knew would play into it (a decision), along with the travel,’’ Yeo said.
Because Carter Hart is on the COVID-19 protocol list, if Jones doesn’t play, the Flyers would have to turn to rookie Felix Sandstrom, who has yet to make his NHL debut.
Jones said he’s ready to go.
“Obviously we had a pretty lengthy break (to rest),’’ he said. “I’ve played some back-to-backs a few times throughout my career.’’
>Hayes, Frost recover in a hurry
Both Hayes and Morgan Frost showed no signs of rust after coming off the COVID list.
“I thought both guys picked up their game in the third period,’’ Yeo said. “Certainly Hayes got more involved, he almost scored a goal their late. He elevated his game and Frosty looked more determined. It’s a matter of confidence, wanting that puck on his stick, winning those one-on-one battles.’’
When Provorov played in his 400th straight game the other night, it marked just the eighth time in NHL history a player has begun his career with a streak of that length. . .Travis Konecny’s goal drought reached 15 games. His last goal came against Tampa Bay back on Nov. 18. . ..Gerry Mayhew made his Flyers debut and wore jersey No. 20. . .Van Riemsdyk has scored five goals in his last six games. JVR is a streaky scorer and usually scores goals in bunches. “Lately I’ve been used a little bit differently,’’ he said. “Anytime you can get one to go, you get that confidence and you start playing a little more free. Then you get a bounce or two. It’s a combination of both those things.’’