Ivan Provorov scored 42 seconds into overtime, and the Philadelphia Flyers overcame a three-goal deficit to pull out a 4-3 win and extend the Buffalo Sabres winless skid to 18 on Monday night.
The Flyers scored three times in the third period to overcome a 3-0 deficit, with Sean Couturier forcing overtime by tipping in Provorov’s point shot with 1:29 left, and Philadelphia’s net empty for an extra attacker.
Provorov then scored by converting Couturier’s pass on a 2-on-1 break and slipping a shot under goalie Linus Ullmark’s pads after Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin turned the puck over in the Philadelphia end.
Nothing continues to go right for Buffalo in a calamitous season in which the team dropped to 0-15-3 to match the NHL’s 14th-worst winless skid and longest since the Pittsburgh Penguins went 0-17-1 during the 2003-04 season.
The teams meet again on Wednesday.
Nothing has come easy for Buffalo in a season the team is likely to finish extending its playoff drought to an NHL-record matching 10th year.
On Monday, Buffalo was guilty of taking its foot off the gas after Henri Jokiharju, Cody Eakin and Brandon Montour scored to put the Sabres up 3-0 through two periods.
Kevin Hayes started the Flyers’ comeback by scoring 1:50 into the third, when his shot deflected in off Dahlin’s stick. Claude Giroux scored 10 minutes later, by converting Couturier’s no-look pass in front of the net.
The Sabres were coming off a game in which they squandered two one-goal leads in 3-2 loss at Boston.
Brian Elliott stopped 29 shots and improved his record against Buffalo to 17-2-2. Elliott got the start with Carter Hart being relegated to practice-only duty through at least Wednesday. Coach Alain Vigneault announced Hart will focus on practice over playing in a bid to pull the third-year starter out of a season-long funk.
The Sabres haven’t won since a 4-1 victory at New Jersey on Feb. 23. They also extended their home losing skid to 0-9-2, the second longest in team history, and one short of the record set during the 1990-91 season, when Buffalo went 0-6-1 with five ties.
Ullmark stopped 32 shots in his second game since missing a month with a lower-body injury.
Buffalo has now been outscored by a combined 74-28 (not including a goal credited in a shootout loss).
The Flyers, coming off a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers on Saturday, improved to 6-9-1 in their past 16, and won consecutive games for the first time since capping a three-game winning streak with back-to-back 3-0 wins at Buffalo.
Jokiharju opened the scoring with 2:19 left in the opening period, when he was set up alone in the right circle by Curtis Lazar. Jokiharju had time and snapped a shot through Elliott’s legs. Kyle Okposo began the play by winning a puck battle along the left boards.
Eakin scored 2:10 into the second period after being set up in the right circle, where he beat Elliott on the short side. The goal was set up by Riley Sheahan, who forced Travis Sanheim to turn over the puck at the right boards.
Montour made it 3-0 some 10 minutes later by snapping a shot into the top right corner after being set up in the slot by Tage Thompson, who recovered the puck after his initial shot was blocked.
Rookie centre Dylan Cozens not returning after being crunched into the boards by Phillippe Myers 12 minutes in.
Backup goalie Carter Hutton is week to week with a lower body injury. He missed his fourth game since being hurt in the opening minutes of a 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers on March 22. Rookie D Jacob Bryson is day to day with an undisclosed injury after being hurt Saturday.
Thompson returned after missing three games with an illness. Rieder returned after missing four games with an upper-body injury.
FOCUSED ON PHILLY
Speaking before the team’s morning skate, Vigneault had enough to worry about regarding his own team than to reflect on the Sabres’ string of woes. He was also counting on his team leaders to guard against over-confidence.
“I expect the leadership of this group to make sure everyone’s on high alert,” Vigneault said. “They understand the importance of this game.”