Hart, Flyers Stay Alive with Win in Chicago

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Flyers had the final 20 minutes to somehow pull out a victory on the Chicago Blackhawks with their playoff hopes completely on the line. Their two hottest players chipped in with clutch goals and their rookie sensation of a goalie stole another win.

Carter Hart made 40 saves and made James van Riemsdyk's goal with 10:10 left in the period stand up in a 3-1 Flyers win over the Blackhawks on Thursday night.

The Flyers struggled out of the gate early, allowing multiple scoring chances, including a flurry of chances while on the power play. Hart stopped them all, but Chicago finally solved him at 10:39 of the opening period.

A defensive breakdown allowed Erik Gustafsson to walk in from the blue line and snap a wrist shot past Hart for the game's first goal.

Late in the period, the Flyers found the equalizer with the fourth line contributing. Justin Bailey had his attempt on a breakaway stopped by Corey Crawford, but later in the shift set up Corban Knight from the slot for the tying goal. It was Knight's first goal as a Flyer.

After 20 minutes, the Flyers had rebounded to lead in shots, 16-14.

The second period was more about the goalies. Both were flawless in the middle frame, with Hart making 16 stops. 

In the final 20 minutes, the Flyers were outshot again, 11-5, but Hart remained solid. The Flyers got the go-ahead goal just shy of the halfway point of the period, with van Riemsdyk throwing a backhander on goal that beat Crawford through a screen.

With an empty net, Sean Couturier scored his 31st of the season to match a career high and seal the Flyers win.

Hart finished with 40 saves on 41 shots, his seventh game allowing one goal and seventh time making 37 or more saves in a game. Crawford was solid as well, stopping 25 of 27 shots in the loss.

The Flyers did get some help on the scoreboard as well. Despite a Montreal win, losses for Carolina and Columbus helped move the Flyers to within five points of a playoff spot and four points of Columbus with eight games left on the schedule.

The Flyers are next in action on Saturday afternoon against the New York Islanders on home ice at 1 p.m.

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Flyers 1 0 2 3
Blackhawks 1 0 0 1

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • CHI Erik Gustafsson (15) (Gustav Forsling, Jonathan Toews) 10:39
  • PHI Corban Knight (1) (Justin Bailey, Radko Gudas) 15:43

2nd Period

  • No Scoring

3rd Period

  • PHI James van Riemsdyk (26) (Sean Couturier, Jake Voracek) 9:50
  • PHI Couturier (31) EN (Claude Giroux, Oskar Lindblom) 18:46

Game Statistics

  Flyers Blackhawks
Shots 28 41
Power Plays 0/1 0/2
Hits 29 17
Faceoff % 53.6% 46.4%
Giveaways 11 11
Takeaways 8 8
Blocked Shots 18 11
Penalty Minutes 4 2


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