The Carter Hart era is off to a 2-0 start.
Hart stopped 31 shots Thursday night in the Flyers' 2-1 win over the Predators.
How well did the Flyers' PK respond and who were the real difference makers?
• I wrote during the preseason that Hart’s ability to read plays and his awareness would be a big improvement to the team’s penalty kill. This game was proof of that. Robert Hagg had two big blocked shots on a 5-on-3 and Hart two big saves.
The Flyers successfully killed off 3:07 of Nashville power-play time from the end of the second period to the beginning of the third.
• Sean Couturier almost always does the little things required to play winning hockey. On Jakub Voracek's first-period goal, Couturier's play and puck work along the boards surrounded by Nashville players stood out as Voracek and Wayne Simmonds jumped off the bench. Most might credit Couturier's pass in setting up Voracek's tap-in goal but for the Flyers, it all started with Couturier's determination to keep the puck in the zone.
• Nashville really missed two of its biggest playmakers in defenseman P.K. Subban and winger Filip Forsberg. Without them, the Predators had the look of a more north-south team attempting to play a more grind-it-out type of game.
• I didn’t like how the Flyers couldn’t cover Hart’s rebound on Nashville’s goal, allowing third-line center Nick Bonino to drift down the middle of the ice uncovered and unaccounted for.
• I really liked Scott Laughton’s game as he brought his skating legs to this game. I’ll also contend he plays better at wing because he plays more of a north-south game and doesn’t have to think of playing a 200-foot game as much as he does at center.
• Travis Konecny gets knocked for his defense and deservedly so at times, but give Konecny most of the credit on Claude Giroux’s 2-1 goal. Konecny did a terrific job of backchecking in the neutral zone and knocking the puck away from Preds defenseman Anthony Bitetto, which led to the Flyers' 2-on-1 going back the other way. Also, Konecny made that play after taking a hard shot off his leg just minutes earlier.
CLAUDE GIR😲UX pic.twitter.com/jpK7aDo1wp— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 21, 2018
• It seems to be rather fashionable to highly criticize the Flyers' second power-play unit, but until it starts receiving significant ice time, it’s not a fair assessment. On three straight power-play possessions, the top unit was on the ice for the first 1:30 of the two minutes. The second unit never had the opportunity to set up. Considering how ineffective the top unit has been this season, if you want to give that second unit a chance to gel and gain some confidence, put it out there for the start of the two minutes.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.