Even after winning six straight games, the Flyers’ playoff hopes are slim, but if nothing else Philadelphia fans have had a reason to be excited lately. With all the goaltending issues that the Flyers have endured in recent years, Carter Hart might finally offer them some stability. He’s just 20-years-old, but his career is off to a strong start with an 8-5-1 record, 2.48 GAA, and .922 save percentage in 14 starts.
Hart has also been a key figure in the Flyers’ six-game winning start, manning the net for five of them and holding the competition to two or fewer goals in each of his last three contests. Hart’s personal five-game winning streak is also the longest for a goaltender under the age of 21 since Carey Price did it in 2008, per John Boruk.
Hart is likely to have growing pains along the way. Almost all players do, particularly goaltenders. It will be up to the Flyers to be patient with him. In contrast to how they were with Sergei Bobrovsky, who had a strong rookie season with Philadelphia and was dealt after a rough sophomore campaign, only to bounce back in his third NHL season and win the Vezina Trophy for the first of two times. Hart’s a bit of a different case, but the principle requiring patience is the same. In the short-term though, the Flyers will be looking to extend their recent momentum and maybe claw their way back into the playoff conversation.
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PHILADELPHIA 3 BOSTON 2 (OT)
Travis Sanheim scored the overtime winner and registered an assist. He has five goals and 17 points in 51 games in 2018-19.
Claude Giroux also found the back of the net for the Flyers. It was his 15th goal and 53rd point in 51 games.
Carter Hart stopped 23 of 25 Bruins shots. He’s won his last five starts and has allowed just five goals over his last three games.
David Pastrnak scored both of Boston’s goals. That gives him 30 goals and 61 points in 51 games.
Tuukka Rask stopped 38 of 41 shots last night. This game marked his return from a concussion that sidelined him for nearly two weeks, but thanks to the All-Star break he only actually missed one game.
NY RANGERS 4 NEW JERSEY 3
Mika Zibanejad led the charge for the Rangers with a hat trick and an assist. He’s up to 20 goals and 48 points in 50 games. This is the fourth time in five seasons that he’s reached the 20-goal milestone and he’s already nearly reached his career-high of 51 points.
Mats Zuccarello assisted on three of the Rangers’ four goals. That gives him eight goals and 27 points in 36 contests.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 19 of 22 shots last night. He won his fourth straight start while allowing 10 goals over that span.
Marcus Johansson scored a goal and registered an assist. The Devils forward has eight goals and 19 points in 38 contests.
Keith Kinkaid stopped 21 of 25 Rangers shots. He’s allowed at least three goals in six consecutive games.
WINNIPEG 4 COLUMBUS 3
Kyle Connor scored the game-winning goal at 18:46 of the third period. It was his 22nd goal and 41st point in 51 games.
Jack Roslovic also scored a goal for Winnipeg. He has four goals and 12 points in 50 contests.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 28 of 31 Blue Jackets shots. He has a 23-14-1 record, 2.85 GAA, and .910 save percentage in 39 starts.
At the other end of the ice, Sergei Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 26 shots. He dropped to 19-16-1 with a 3.01 GAA and .901 save percentage in 36 games.
Artemi Panarin scored a goal and registered an assist for Columbus. He has 20 goals and 57 points in 48 contests.