Ivan Provorov leads feisty Flyers to 6-4 win over Islanders (Jan 04, 2018)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Another listless performance led Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall to turn to the minors for what he called ''needed energy.''
The plan was foiled, though, by the East Coast snowstorm that stranded Tyrell Goulbourne in Toronto and put his NHL debut on hold.
Enter regulars Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny, who gave the Flyers a needed boost with their sticks and - surprisingly - their fists.
Ivan Provorov had two goals and an assist, and Couturier had a goal, an assist and participated in one of several fights for the Flyers in their feisty 6-4 victory over the slumping New York Islanders on Thursday night.
''It was a big game tonight. They're just ahead of us in the standings,'' Couturier said. ''We knew it was important and there was a lot of emotion out there. Guys responded.''
Konecny energized his teammates with a first-period scrap, then scored to cap a four-goal second. Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl also scored for the Flyers, who overcame a poor third period for their second win in six games.
Brian Elliott made 27 saves in his 15th straight start.
''It brought us energy,'' Provorov said of the fisticuffs. ''It was great to see guys playing hard.''
Cal Clutterbuck scored twice, and John Tavares and Ryan Pulock added third-period goals for the Islanders in their season-high fourth straight loss. Thomas Greiss allowed five goals on 31 shots but got little help from a defense that continues to struggle without injured Johnny Boychuk.
''We come out, we're not bad, then something goes wrong, it kind of spirals and we can't stop it,'' Pulock said.
Raffl's redirect of Provorov's shot at 1:36 of the second period put the Flyers up 2-1. Simmonds scored 40 seconds later and Provorov added his sixth during a four-minute power play after Tanner Fritz's high stick to the face of Andrew MacDonald drew blood.
Konecny made it 5-2 with his fifth goal on a breakaway against a helpless Greiss, who has allowed five or more goals seven times this season.
''Yeah, puck is just sliding in, whether it's tips, backdoors or just goalie's not seeing it,'' said Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield, who agreed to a five-year contract extension before the game. ''Clear guys out and we just weren't doing it.''
Before the game, Hextall said the Flyers must become more consistent if they are to reach the playoffs and noted a lack of energy in a 5-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday that prompted the roster move.
''I think our players recognize that it wasn't the most energized game by our club and we need to be better,'' Hextall said.
The 20-year-old Konecny, recently elevated to the top line, had plenty of pep early. He threw Shane Prince to the ice in a fight that drew cheers from the bench in a dominant first period. The Flyers raced to an 8-2 edge in shots and a 1-0 lead when Couturier redirected Jakub Voracek's shot at 8:38 for his 19th goal.
The Flyers gave it back when Clutterbuck's deflection of Nick Leddy's slap shot gave him his 200th point at 15:37 of the first.
The Islanders were overwhelmed in a sloppy second period. Tavares' 22nd goal and Pulock's third with 5:25 left were not enough.
Couturier tangled with Josh Bailey 15 seconds after Pulock's goal to complete his Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, assist and a fight).
Provorov's empty-netter following a line brawl that featured a Scott Laughton bout put it away as the Flyers earned their first win over the Islanders in three tries this season.
NOTES: Boychuk (lower body) didn't respond well after practicing Wednesday and didn't travel on the two-game trip. He's missed four straight games. . Voracek got his 39th assist, moving past Bailey for the NHL lead. . Flyers forward Claude Giroux had two assists and was 7 for 8 on faceoffs. . Flyers C Nolan Patrick, the struggling No. 2 pick in last year's draft, got his eighth point with an assist on Provorov's first goal.
Islanders: Home vs. Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Flyers: Home vs. St. Louis on Saturday.
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