Carter Hart’s 41 Saves Helps Leads Flyers to OT Victory over Penguins

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: James van Riemsdyk #25 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his goal with Carter Hart #79 during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on March 17, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17: James van Riemsdyk #25 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his goal with Carter Hart #79 during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on March 17, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Philadelphia Flyers headed to Pittsburgh and took on the Penguins in the second game of a two game road trip.

Coming off their second straight loss in their last contest, the Philadelphia Flyers faced off with the Pittsburgh Penguins in their final meeting of the regular season.

Carter Hart received the start in-net, opposing Matt Murray for the Pens. Murray had a 2.86 Goals-Against Average with a .915 save percentage entering the contest. He did struggle in his last start against the St.Louis Blues, allowing four goals on 13 shots, making it more crucial for the Flyers offense to come alive.

There was a great pace to the matchup as the first period began, with each team trading scoring chances early on. Pittsburgh would go on to receive the game’s first power-play as the Flyers took a classic Too Much Man penalty. The Philadelphia shorthanded unit stood their ground, allowing just one shot from the Penguins on the kill to help keep things even through one period of play.

Hart completely stole the show in the second. The Flyers were utterly outclassed during the middle stanza, getting out-shot 17 to six during the 20 minute frame. If it weren’t for the play of Hart between the pipes, Philadelphia could’ve found themselves on the wrong side of a blowout after two. Luckily, the 20 year-old made all 17 saves to keep the score at zero a piece.

Teddy Bluegar broke Hart’s shutout bid just minutes into the third, because he’s mean and hates fun, cashing in on a rebound to score the first goal of the game and put the Penguins up 1-0. The Flyers came with chance after chance to try and tie the game back up, finally finding the equalizer with 18.8 seconds to go on a goal from James van Riemsdyk. 60 minutes of hockey didn’t prove to enough as the game went to extra time. Sean Couturier played hero, scoring the game winner with just three second left in overtime.

While this was a nice, come from behind win from the Flyers, they still have a problem playing a consistent 60 minute game of hockey. They brought it in the third, but the Flyers had just 12 shots through two periods of work. Playing well in just one of the three frames normally isn’t a great recipe for success, as we almost saw here. Just thank the hockey gods for Hart, who’s 41 save performance paved the way for the comeback Flyer victory.

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The Flyers are now 35-29-8. Next game is Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens.