Carter Hart dazzles in Flyers Game 1 victory over Montreal

Stanley Cup Playoffs-Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers
Photo credit Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Carter Hart found quite a way to usher in his 22nd birthday. 

According to NHL Stats & Information, the Flyer became just the seventh goaltender in league history to win his first three postseason games before the age of 22. Hart stopped 27 shots to help his team hold off the pesky Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series. 

“We’re in the playoffs right now, so it’s crunch time,” the calm, cool and collected Hart said postgame. 

Sixteen of Hart’s saves came in the second period, when Montreal out-played the Flyers. Then, late in the third, Hart had a couple of huge stops against Brendan Gallagher. 

“I mean he’s just a true pro,” Flyers center Sean Couturier said of Hart. “Ever since he got in, he does a lot of little things right. On and off the ice he prepares himself like a true pro.”

Couturier and other top Flyers forwards like Claude Giroux, Kevin Hayes, Travis Konecny and James van Riemsdyk remained without a goal since the season resumed. But, Jake Voracek was able to end his drought by deflecting in an Ivan Provorov shot from the point on the power play in the first period. 

Thank you Provy, may we Hab another. #AnytimeAnywhere | #MTLvsPHI

— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) August 13, 2020

Sixteen seconds after Montreal tied the score in the second on their own man advantage, 20-year-old Joel Farabee put the Flyers back in a front with impressive persistence to get one by Canadiens star goalie Carey Price. 

Can't rattle this team. #AnytimeAnywhere | #MTLvsPHI

— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) August 13, 2020

Price is Hart’s boyhood idol. The two had a moment during pregame warm-ups where it appeared Hart said something to Price. 

“I just said ‘Hello’ quickly in warmups. 'Good luck.' And it’s just time to go play.”

The young goalie was not fazed by Price. He pointed out before the series started that the Flyers aren’t playing against one player; they’re taking on the entire Montreal Canadiens. 

He lived up to that mindset. 

“He’s been through big games before,” Head Coach Alain Vigneault said. “He’s played well. He’s just going out there and doing what he’s supposed to do—giving us a chance to win games.”

The Flyers are winners of 13 out of 14, dating back to before the season shutdown. In their history, they’re 23-9 in series in which they’ve won Game 1. The franchise is looking to win its first series since 2012, and having Hart on their side gives them a very good chance to make that happen. 

As the game ended, the unverified Twitter account of iconic Flyers goalie Bernie Parent posted “ALL Hart!!!”

ALL Hart!!!

— Bernie Parent (@bernieparent) August 13, 2020

Parent was between the pipes during the Flyers' only Stanley Cup Championship seasons, in 1973-74 and 1974-75. In May, Parent told KYW Newsradio that the Flyers are going to win a Stanley Cup with Hart

Wednesday night was a good start. One win down, 15 more to go. 

“It was a good battle between both teams,” Hart said after the victory, “and whenever it’s a good battle on the ice, it always feels rewarding at the end.”

One down.

— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) August 13, 2020

Guess who also has a birthday today — Flyers legend Bobby Clarke. If that isn’t a good sign, I don’t what is.