Flyers go for fifth in row at Predators

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While the Nashville Predators try to pick up the pieces after a bitter come-from-ahead loss, the Philadelphia Flyers arrive in town fresh off their fourth straight win.

The teams meet for the first time this season in a late Sunday afternoon contest at Bridgestone Arena after differing outcomes on Saturday.

Philadelphia (13-10-3) used three second-period goals, two by 19-year old rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov 31 seconds apart, to dump the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1. Nashville (11-8-4) hacked up a three-goal third-period lead in a 5-4 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.

How improbable was the Predators' loss? Not only were they 8-1-1 at home prior to Saturday's game, they also were outscoring the opposition 39-14 at home going into the third period. But New Jersey scored twice in the first 55 seconds of the third, tied it with a power-play marker at 12:37 and won it on its only shot of overtime, courtesy of Michael Cammalleri at 4:42.

"It's an ugly, ugly way to lose a game," admitted Nashville coach Peter Laviolette. "It's a terrible feeling for everyone involved."

Defenseman Matt Irwin said playing back-to-back might be the best thing for the Predators after Saturday's outcome.

"The schedule is perfect for this," he said. "We need every point we can get. It's disappointing that we only got one (point), but we got a chance to get two more tomorrow night and go from there. We are happy that we are right back at it tomorrow."

It's possible that Nashville could opt for rookie Juuse Saros in net instead of Pekka Rinne, the NHL's First Star of November who gave up five goals on only 22 shots Saturday. Saros played well in his two NHL games this year, giving up just one goal in each and posting a .965 save percentage.

As for the Flyers, they received a good outing from veteran Steve Mason, who bagged 26 saves against Chicago to up his record to 8-8-3. Brayden Schenn potted the other goal for Philadelphia, which outshot the Blackhawks 30-27, won 31 of 53 faceoffs and showed excellent discipline in taking just one minor.

"You just have to have the work ethic night in and night out," Mason said. "Overall, the effort was there, and it was exactly what we need. We have another tough test going to Nashville to play. So we're going to have to follow up with another great effort."

Provorov entered Saturday's game with just one goal in the Flyers' first 25 games. Not only did he double that output, he also prevented a Chicago goal by swatting a bouncing puck out of the crease late in the second period to maintain the team's two-goal advantage.

It was a 180-degree turn from his first outing against the Blackhawks, who exploited him throughout a 7-4 defeat and left him with a minus-five on the scoresheet.

"I think you have to keep everything in perspective from a night like that," second-year Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said. "He is a guy that continues to work at his game, and continues to build. It was nice to see a couple of those pucks go in for him."
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