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