Flyers 3, Red Wings 2: Carter Hart Provides Needed Jolt in NHL Debut


It was a Hart-pumping debut.

Clinging onto a one-goal lead over the final 18 minutes of regulation, rookie Carter Hart made the game-clinching save with seven seconds remaining in regulation.

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Hart won his NHL debut Tuesday night as the Flyers snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Red Wings, 3-2. It was also interim head coach Scott Gordon's Flyers debut.

Which defenseman stepped up and what were Hart's biggest saves of the game?

Hart watch

First period 

Hart faced one shot in the opening 11 minutes and did a solid job of redirecting shots to the boards. He looked very composed and confident in net.

Best save: On a Dylan Larkin snap shot from the high danger area between the circles. 

Second period

Hart allowed his first NHL goal on a Red Wings power play. The Flyers' PK collapsed, which left a lot of open real estate between the top of the circles and the blue line. That allowed Dennis Cholowski to skate in and fire a perfectly placed shot past Hart's blocker. Credit goes to Thomas Vanek for shielding Hart, who couldn't make the split-second adjustment.

Best save: Came in the final minute when he denied Gustav Nyquist on back-to-back shots. The first one was a big blast from the left circle. Until that sequence, Hart went nine minutes without making a save.

Third period

Considering this was the Flyers' first two-goal lead since the Calgary collapse, the Flyers had a poor response to start the opening two minutes of the third period when they could have put the game away. Phil Varone sent the puck up the boards but couldn't get it out of the zone, which led to Detroit's second goal. That allowed a centering pass to Jacob de la Rose from behind the net and a Red Wings goal that Hart didn't have much time to react to.

Hart got away with one when he rimmed the puck along the boards, a pass that was intercepted. Only a misfire from Tyler Bertuzzi prevented this from being a tied game.

Best save: Came when Hart kicked out the left pad on Martin Frk's big blast from the right circle with 10:15 remaining in regulation.

Here are the rest of my observations from the game:

• The Flyers took a lead into the first intermission for just the second time in 15 games after James van Riemsdyk redirected Claude Giroux's shot from the point, but I give Travis Konecny much of the credit.

Konecny cleared out the area in front of Jonathan Bernier, taking defenseman Niklas Kronwall with him and allowing JVR to slide into the low slot for the easy deflection.

• Could it be that Travis Sanheim is the Flyers' most confident defenseman right now? It sure seems that way. I don't see much hesitation in his game. It was also good to see Gordon keep Sanheim out there with Ivan Provorov in the final minutes to protect the lead.

• In the second period, the Flyers perfectly executed a 4-on-2 rush with Shayne Gostisbehere, the trailer, coming down the middle of the ice. Gostisbehere took the pass from Nolan Patrick and placed it perfectly over Bernier's shoulder.

It was Gostisbehere's first goal in 16 games and it's my firm belief that he gains confidence from his offense and that carries over into his defensive play.

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