PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Flyers are still streaking. And they have Carter Hart to thank for that. Hart made 38 saves, including some brilliant stops during Philadelphia’s lackluster first period, and Claude Giroux scored twice to lead the Flyers to their ninth straight victory, 3-1 over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
“Carter Hart was the best player on the ice,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneualt said. “Our other 18 guys were OK. Our goaltender had his best stuff and that was the difference.”
Joel Farabee also scored and Jakub Voracek and Travis Sanheim each had a pair of assists for Philadelphia, which remained tied for first place with Washington in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals beat Pittsburgh 5-2 earlier Saturday.
Carter Hart improved to 7-0-0 dating to Feb. 18 and became the first goaltender in NHL history to record multiple win streaks of seven-plus game at age 21 or younger (also: 8-0-0 from Jan. 14 – Feb. 9, 2019). #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/CMsbMCBrZO
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 8, 2020
“Good teams find ways to win,” Vigneault said.
Philadelphia improved to 25-5-4 at home, where Hart has been nearly unbeatable. The 21-year-old netminder upped his home mark to 20-2-2.
“Having fun,” Hart said. “That’s probably the biggest thing with us right now. We’re enjoying coming to the rink.”
Dominik Kahun scored for Buffalo, which dropped its sixth straight. The Sabres have gone six games without a point for the first time since Dec. 28, 2015, to Jan. 8, 2016.
Buffalo dominated the opening period, and could’ve been up at least two goals if not for Hart. He stopped Sam Reinhart on a breakaway six minutes in and then made two good saves off a 2-on-1 about 4½ minutes later, first on Johan Larsson’s slap shot and then Zemgus Girgensons’ follow from close range.
“Carter made some huge saves for us,” Giroux said. “And when we had a chance to put it in, we did.”
Giroux’s second goal of the night, which put Philadelphia ahead 2-1 with 10:32 left, was one for the highlight reel. Voracek’s pass went off the stick of Buffalo defenseman Jake McCabe and into the air. Giroux wound up and connected just as the puck was landing on the ice, firing it past the left leg of goalie Carter Hutton for his 21st of the season.
“It was in the air and I was waiting for it to land,” Giroux said.
Farabee made it 3-1 with 5:11 remaining after a gaffe by the Sabres. Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen passed back to Hutton from inside the defensive zone. Farabee pressured the goalie, intercepting Hutton’s attempt at a return pass to Ristolainen before shooting between Hutton’s legs.
Farabee was recalled Thursday from Lehigh Valley of the AHL to fill in for injured James van Riemsdyk (broken hand).
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