Coyotes 4 (1-10-1, 3 PTS) @ Flyers 3 (6-5-1, 13 PTS) OT
The Arizona Coyotes came in to Philadelphia without a win, but they walked out with a 1 in the “W” column after nearly 65 minutes of hockey. After arguably their best win of the season to date, Philadelphia turned in a poor performance before barely squeaking out a point against an inferior Western Conference team. The Flyers did not deserve to win this game, and they should be grateful for earning a point at all.
It didn’t take long for the Flyers to trail as Jordan Martinook tallied his first goal of the season just 140 seconds into the game. A cross-ice slap pass from Niklas Hjalmarsson found a wide open Martinook in front of the net who beat a sprawling Brian Elliot for the first goal of the game. About 5 minutes later, the Coyotes doubled their lead. Another slap pass from Oliver Ekman-Larsson ricocheted off of Christian Dvorak’s skate onto his stick who slid the puck past an unaware Elliot. Elliot was frozen by the amount of traffic in front, and by the team he found the puck it was too late to recover. The Flyers had missed chances throughout the period, with numerous offsides and misplaced passes. A frustrating period finally came to end with the home team mustering a weasly 3 shots on Arizona’s un-tested goaltender Scott Wedgewood.
The second period came and went with the Flyers not amping up the tempo or changing up their game plan. They struggled to create chances in Arizona’s and, and to the Coyotes credit they made life tough in their own zone. Wayne Simmonds took a late, untimely penalty as his frustration started to boil over. Things could have been worse as they headed into the tunnel still down a pair of goals.
Speaking of that Wayne Simmonds penalty, the Coyotes sure did make him and the Flyers pay. Just over a minute and a half in to the third, Brendan Perlini tallied his 2nd goal of the season by beating Elliot on his short side from the top of the right circle. This seemed to be the wake up call for the Flyers as ever since this moment of the game the play was driven by Philadelphia.
Less than a minute later, Sean Couturier continued his hot start to the season and got the Flyers on the board. Coots collected a pass in the slot from Claude Giroux and he one timed the puck over Wedgewood’s shoulder a la Scott Hartnell from back in the day.
Giroux with a sweet dish to Couturier to get the Flyers on the board! pic.twitter.com/0CN1DI7tzt
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) October 31, 2017
Play continued around Arizona’s net but there was no breakthrough and Dave Hakstol pulled Brian Elliot with 2:10 left to play. After a timeout by Philadelphia, the Flyers found the back of the net twice in 38.2 seconds to tie the game at 3 with 14.4 seconds to go. The first goal came off the stick of Jordan Weal, who roofed the rebound off a Ivan Provorov blast after missing on a stuff attempt just mere seconds earlier.
The man who started the scoring for the Flyers wasn’t done yet, as he tipped home a beautiful feed from Giroux as that duo linked up once again. This whole play started from an enormous keep in at the line from Provorov, who truly showed his #1 defenseman prowess. Ivan made more than one amazing plays late in the game, giving Philadelphia a chance to tie.
What. A. Play. Provorov with the unreal keep-in and Giroux with the perfect pass. Couturier ties it! pic.twitter.com/kv6EUYBaHZ
— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) October 31, 2017
The five minute period started on the nervy end for the Flyers as the referees called Jake Voracek for a hook, luckily the Flyers killed off the penalty and resumed play evenly at 3-on-3. There was a missed interference call against the Coyotes that could have made this game go the other way. Travis Sanheim skated into the Coyotes zone and hesitated just long enough to be stripped, and allowed an odd-man rush to start the other way. A tic-tac-toe play between Max Domi, Clayton Keller, and Alex Goligoski found the veteran defenseman unmarked below the face-off dots to Elliot’s left and he fired home the game winner for Arizona’s first win of the year.
Tonight was Ivan Provorov’s second career game with 3 points, he had a hand in all three goals tonight with assists on each one. He also led the time in ice time with a whopping 28:06 played. The first round pick is certainly living up to the draft day hype.
Can we finally put to rest the claims of Sean Couturier not being a legitimate NHL player now? He leads the team in goals with 9 so far this season and in his past 32 games he has 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points. For someone people have said is not a true scorer, Coots is averaging a point per game lately.
Mark Alt made his first start for the Flyers this season, replacing Shayne Gostisbehere who is out following the game in Toronto. It’s obvious how much the team missed Ghost, as they struggled for more than half the game at generating chances and controlled zone entries without a true puck mover.