In the final installment of Top Flyte, where Philly Sports Network brings you in-depth analysis of the greatest Philadelphia Flyers games of the 2019-20 regular season (in no particular order), we take a look back at the November 30, 2019 matchup against the Montreal Canadiens and how Ivan Provorov stole the spotlight.
The month of November was an exceptional one for the Philadelphia Flyers. The orange and black played some of their finest hockey of the 2019-20 season and simultaneously put every other team in the NHL on notice.
Going into Montreal on that Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Flyers were an impressive 9-2-4 (22 points) in the month of November after obliterating the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 at the Wells Fargo Center the evening prior. A win against the Canadiens at Bell Centre would give the Flyers ten victories and would tie a franchise record for total wins in the month.
The Montreal Canadiens, on the other hand, did not have much to be thankful for in November. They were 4-5-3 going into this matchup (including a 3-2 overtime loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia on November 7th) and had just lost their last six games in a row.
Once the puck was dropped, Montreal did not look like a team on a skid. It did not take long for them to get on the scoreboard and swing momentum in their favor. Joel Armia scored his ninth goal of the season just 19 seconds into the opening frame. The Flyers backcheck looked a bit flat and Armia was able to skate coast to coast basically untouched and shoot one past Brian Elliott.
The Flyers used the rest of the first period to reset themselves. Defense was solid from both sides and the period would conclude at 1-0 Montreal. Shots were 9-7 in favor of the Canadiens.
Finally, 7:47 into the second period, after a battle for the puck along the boards, Flyers defenseman Justin Braun got a shot off from the top of the right circle. Oskar Lindblom was able to deflect the puck past Canadiens’ netminder Keith Kinkaid. The goal was Lindblom’s 11th of the season and tied the game at one.
It would not take long for a response from Montreal. With a strong presence in front of the net, Tomas Tatar was in the right place at the right time for a rebound and a chip in at 8:14 in the middle period. The Canadiens regained the lead 2-1.
In keeping with the theme of the game thus far, the Flyers would quickly counter the Tatar tally. With just over eleven minutes left in the second, forward Joel Farabee kept a play alive in the offensive zone and found an open Kevin Hayes who sniped the puck between two defenders and past Kinkaid for the 100th goal of his NHL career. The momentous goal from Hayes tied the game at 2.
Philadelphia scored the last goal of the second period and would follow that up with the first goal of the final period. A little over 90 seconds into the third, Travis Konecny started a sweet little tic-tac-toe passing sequence into the offensive zone with Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux. The Captain passed the puck right back onto the tape of T.K.’s stick who then one-timed it into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season. The tally was Konecny’s sixth point in his last seven games. The Flyers grabbed their first lead of the game at 3-2.
Tomas Tatar and the Montreal Canadiens would not allow that lead to endure. Tatar scored his second goal of the contest at 3:16 to even things up at three. The two teams would fight out the remainder of the third period scoreless. Overtime would be required to determine a winner.
In a game rich with quick responses, Flyers’ defenseman Ivan Provorov would do just that in overtime. Early in the 3-on-3 action, Provorov received the puck from Sean Couturier in the Flyers’ zone and made his way across and up the ice. Provy then slid the puck between his legs to get around Montreal forward Max Domi in dazzling fashion. The star blueliner then proceeded to make his way to the net where he snapped the puck past Keith Kinkaid for the game-winner.
Thanks to Provy and one of the most incredible plays of the season, the Flyers downed the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime.
Despite allowing three goals, Flyers’ goaltender Brian Elliott made 39 crucial saves and recorded his seventh win of the season. Moose went 4-0-2 in November with a .926 save percentage.
With the stunning victory, the Flyers finished November with four straight wins, went 10-2-4 with an NHL-best 24 points and tied the franchise record for wins in the month.
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Mandatory Credit – © Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports