The Philadelphia Flyers continued their three-game homestand by hosting the Carolina Hurricanes at the Wells Fargo Center.
Hoping to bounce back from an 11 round shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, the Philadelphia Flyers faced off against a fellow Metropolitan Division squad in the Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were looking to rebound from a losing effort themselves, having fallen to the New Jersey Devils 5-3 in their last game. Carter Hart got to go in-net from Head Coach Alain Vigneault and opposed former Flyers goalie Petr Mrazek. Hart came into the contest aiming for his second straight win, as he helped Philadelphia defeat the previously mentioned Devils in yet another shootout in his previous start.
After surviving a litany of Hurricane chances in the first minute of the game, the Flyers were able to take a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Sean Couturier. Matt Niskanen found Coots with a shot-pass in the slot, setting up the 6’2 centerman for a deflection to pot his fourth tally of the year. Carolina continued to apply a high amount of pressure throughout the period, but Hart stood his ground to keep Philadelphia’s lead at one at the end of the opening period.
The Canes would eventually find a way to tie it up in the second, as Trevor van Riemsdyk, who’s James van Riemsdyk’s brother if you didn’t know, made an excellent feed to set up Lucas Wallmark for a point-blank shot in front of the net to make it a 1-1 affair. Wallmark did knock Hart’s stick out of his hands in the process, which is illegal, but for whatever reason, Vigneault opted not to challenge the play. Both netminders held their own following Wallmark’s goal as the middle frame came to a close, with Hart seeing more shots at his end of the rink than Mrazek.
Travis Konecny put the Flyers back ahead in the early goings of the third, slamming home a loose puck near the side of the net for his seventh goal of 2019-20. Konecny has been the teams’ most consistent player so far this year and when you give it your all on every shift, sometimes the puck just finds your stick, as was the case here. Joel Farabee followed it up with his second tally of the season, Claude Giroux scored on a breakaway, and Hart went on to shut the door to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 victory.
This was by far Hart’s best performance in recent weeks. The 20-year-old goaltender single-handedly kept Philadelphia alive in the initial 40 minutes, making save after save as the Canes applied a heavy amount pressure in the defensive zone. He finished the night saving 33 shots on 34 attempts, looking nothing less than calm, cool, and collected while doing so. The Flyers don’t come alive in the third period without Hart’s effort between the pipes and have him to thank for this win over a talented Hurricanes squad.
The Flyers are now 7-5-2 on the campaign. Next game is Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.