Hart leads Flyers over Vegas for second win in a row
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carter Hart saved the day for the Flyers.
Hart made a career-high 47 saves, Oskar Lindblom and Justin Braun scored, and Philadelphia won consecutive games for the first time in more than a month with a 2-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.
“It was unbelievable,” Braun said of Hart’s performance. “Anytime you give up that many shots and come out with a win, it’s probably because your goalie had an incredible night.”
Scott Laughton added two assists for Philadelphia, which last won two in a row on Jan. 29 and Feb. 1. The Flyers entered in last place in the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan Division and had lost 21 of 24 contests before Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Chicago.
“Our group’s faced a lot of adversity, but we’ve done a good job the last couple of weeks of sticking to the process, coming to work every day and just battling,” Hart said.
Philadelphia also defeated the Golden Knights on Dec. 10 to snap a 10-game losing streak. Hart set his previous high mark with 41 stops in that contest.
Evgenii Dadonov scored for the Golden Knights, who entered in third place in the Pacific. Vegas was playing the first of an eight-day, five-game road trip. The Knights generated lots of good chances among their shots, but Hart stood tall.
“We didn’t give them much, but you have to score at least three goals to win,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “We did a lot of good things.”
Hart’s best stops might have come in a furious sequence by the Knights on the power play late in the second period. He first denied Max Pacioretty with a lunging pad save before recovering to sprawl to the other side of the net to stop Jack Eichel’s one-timer with another pad stop.
“He was great,” DeBoer said.
Hart even managed several saves without his stick during a Vegas power play in the second.
He made one final save just before the buzzer off Eichel’s attempt during a scramble in front, then scooped the puck with his glove and tossed it in the corner.
“He was a battler tonight, he was a competitor,” Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo said. “The way he was tracking the puck, keeping himself in position, well-deserved win for him.”
The Flyers got both of their goals in the first period even though they were outplayed. Vegas controlled the opening period but couldn’t convert on any of its 14 shots. The Flyers, meantime, took advantage of their opportunities.
Braun scored on Philadelphia’s first shot when his seemingly harmless wrister from long range got past Vegas goalie Robin Lehner to give the Flyers the lead 4:46 into the contest.
Lindlbom netted his 10th of the season on a wraparound just after a Philadelphia power play expired to make it 2-0 with 50.7 seconds left in the period.
Lehner made 19 saves.
Dadonov pulled Vegas within 2-1 with 13:34 left in the second with a beautiful, tic-tac-toe passing play with Jonathan Marchessault and Eichel on the power play. Dadonov finished it off with a one-timer from in front of the crease for his 11th of the season. The assist gave Marchessault a team-best 43 points.
That’s all the Golden Knights managed to get by Hart.
The Flyers ended a club-record eight-game homestand with a 3-5 mark. Yeo was happy to win consecutive games but not content with the overall record.
“Not very good,” he said of the homestand. “We’re here to win games. I like that we finished off with a couple of wins, but we have to keep building.”
Golden Knights: F Nolan Patrick skated by himself during the pregame skate. Patrick hasn’t played since taking a hard hit on Feb. 16. Patrick was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2017 draft by the Flyers but was traded this past offseason. There is no timetable for his return.
Flyers: D Kevin Connauton was not in the lineup after getting injured on a hit by Chicago’s Kirby Dach in Philadelphia’s 4-3 win over the Blackhawks on Saturday.
Golden Knights: At Buffalo on Thursday.
Flyers: At Florida on Thursday.
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