Carter Hart made 31 saves in regulation and overtime against the Penguins on April 15, then made two more saves in the shootout to secure a win. When the Flyers were scheduled to play on the following Saturday, April 17, Hart was slated to start, but in a surprising turn of events, Alex Lyon got the start that afternoon.
That April 15 start turned out to be Hart’s last of the season. An MCL sprain has kept him sidelined ever since, and on Thursday morning, GM Chuck Fletcher announced that Hart will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 regular season.
Hart finishes the 2020-21 season with a 9-11-5 record with a 3.67 GAA and .877 save percentage. Hart struggled to find consistency throughout the season, notably during the month of March when both he and the entire team appeared lost.
Hart had lost all four starts he made in April prior to the win on April 15, but had started to fare better. He allowed three goals or less in four of those five starts in April and finally secured a win in what would be his final start of the season.
Throughout the season, Hart faced challenges with his positioning and notably with his confidence. He was starting to gain it back, but this injury allowed for the Flyers to shut him down for the remainder of the season to focus on being ready for next season. With a combination of three points gained by Boston or lost by the Flyers, they will be eliminated from playoff contention, so with not much left to play for this season other than to get a look at young players, resting a potential cornerstone player like Hart and preventing any further injury is a good decision.
The Flyers have seven games remaining this season, and it was already apparent that Hart would not be starting on Thursday and likely Saturday. That would leave just five games remaining over the next week for Hart to even make his return, which didn’t really seem feasible.
Including this season’s numbers, Hart still has a 49-37-9 record with a 2.88 GAA and .905 save percentage over 101 career games played.
The Flyers take on the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night for the third time this week. Lyon will be getting the start in goal for the Flyers.