The Flyers won't love the beginning but they'll enjoy the finish.
Despite being outplayed handily through the first two periods Wednesday night, the Flyers pulled off a 3-2 OT win over the Kraken in their first-ever trip to Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena.
The Flyers will take it to open this four-game West Coast road trip.
Ivan Provorov scored the OT winner on a pretty move. Kevin Hayes made an excellent lead pass to set up Provorov, who played 27-plus minutes.
James van Riemsdyk netted the Flyers' other two goals, the second coming just 15 seconds after Seattle took a 2-1 lead with 5:28 minutes left in regulation.
The Flyers (13-12-5) pushed their season-best point streak to six games (5-0-1). It's the club's longest point streak since 2019-20, when it won nine straight games from Feb. 18 to March 7.
Mike Yeo's team was coming off a long layoff and dealing with some COVID-related absences.
But so, too, were the Kraken (10-17-4), who finished 0-1-1 against the Flyers in their inaugural season.
• Claude Giroux further etched his name into the Flyers' record books.
With an assist on van Riemsdyk's game-opening power play goal, the captain climbed past Bill Barber for second on the Flyers' all-time scoring list at 884 points. Bob Clarke is up there by himself with 1,210.
As the city's longest-tenured active athlete, going back to before the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, Giroux is on the final year of an eight-year, $66.2 million contract. He turns 34 years old in two weeks and has genuinely gotten better with age.
Giroux is also second on the Flyers' all-time leaderboards in games played (973) and assists (601), behind only Clarke. The franchise icon owns 1,144 games and 852 helpers.
Giroux has expressed the desire to stay in one place for his career, a feat Clarke and Barber accomplished in Philly. Giroux is an all-time great Flyer and we'll see how much more company he can give Clarke.
"I think in life, you try to put goals out there even if they're hard to achieve," Giroux said in April last season. "Bobby Clarke had an amazing career, Hall of Famer — that's a lot of points to get there."
• The Flyers might leave the game film in Seattle. Or at least the first two periods of it.
It wasn't pretty as the Flyers had only 11 shots entering the third period. The Kraken emphatically controlled play and had the Flyers pinned in their own end much of the night.
Because of two postponements and the holiday break, the Flyers had gone 10 days without playing a game. Seattle had the exact same hiatus and has endured COVID difficulties, as well.
The Flyers know they can't play that kind of game and consistently get away with it. But they are 7-1-1 when entering the third period in a tied game and there's something to be said for that.
Martin Jones, who has a pair of 43-save games this season, finished with 34 stops on 36 shots.
Seattle netminder Philipp Grubauer made only 19 saves.
The Flyers went 2 for 3 on the penalty kill and survived some dangerous sequences in the defensive zone.
"The fact that we didn't quit and we found a way," Yeo, who improved to 5-2-1 as interim head coach, said. "Martin did a great job for us. It wasn't a lack of effort, it wasn't a lack of compete tonight. We've got to recognize what we were doing before the break and what makes us a hard team to play against. We weren't doing those things early, but I think that we did recognize that, we did regroup.
"I thought we showed a lot of character just to stay in the game, a lot of battle. We made it way too hard on ourselves at different times, we forced ourselves to show more character than maybe we even needed. But that's a big two points for us, especially giving up the goal fairly late and then finding a way to come back and win that game."
The process wasn't great Wednesday night but Yeo has produced progress overall and some much-needed results.
• Following the new CDC isolation guidelines, the NHL and NHLPA on Wednesday agreed to adjust its COVID protocol. The league decided to trim its isolation period of 10 days to five days for a player who tests positive and is fully vaccinated.
If a player has no symptoms or his symptoms are resolving, they're permitted to return as long as they have a negative lab-based RT-PCR test and the requirements adhere with local health laws.
Sean Couturier was placed in COVID protocol Dec. 21 (nine days ago), while Carter Hart, Scott Laughton and Derick Brassard entered Monday. We'll see if Couturier is able to meet the Flyers in San Jose, California, and return Thursday against the Sharks (10:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP). The first-line center hasn't practiced in 10 days.
The back half of the Flyers' road trip wraps up against the Kings on New Year's Day Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Ducks on the following Tuesday (10 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
With the modified protocol, it's possible Hart, Laughton and Brassard could return Saturday in Los Angeles. Brassard has also been working his way back from a hip injury.
• In his Flyers debut, Gerry Mayhew went scoreless with a shot and a penalty through 9:26 minutes.
• The Flyers are right back at it Thursday as they head to California. They're 2-2-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets.
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