Hart, Couturier lead Flyers over slumping Ducks 6-2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carter Hart’s approach to making big saves is simple and effective.
Hart stopped 30 shots for his eighth straight victory, Sean Couturier had a goal and two assists and the Philadelphia Flyers scored four times in the first period to rout the slumping Anaheim Ducks 6-2 on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Hart helped the Flyers to a fast start, denying Jakob Silfverberg on a breakaway with a glove save 1:15 into the contest.
“You see the play develop and you get ready,” a nonchalant Hart said. “You hopefully make the save or you don’t.”
Hart tied an NHL rookie record for most consecutive victories before turning 21, matching former Quebec netminder Jocelyn Thibault’s performance in March 1995.
“I don’t look at those things,” Hart said. “Sure it’s cool, but we just want to win hockey games.”
Hart was rested in favor of Anthony Stolarz in Thursday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Los Angeles that snapped Philadelphia’s eight-game winning streak.
Buoyed by Hart’s early-game performance, Philadelphia broke away early.
“It could’ve been a whole different game,” Couturier said. “He’s been keeping us in games, making us believe even when we’re not playing our best. It’s nice to get him some goals. He’s been unbelievable.”
Adam Henrique and Nick Ritchie scored for Anaheim, which lost its seventh in a row and 19th in the last 21 while ending a forgettable six-game road trip. The Ducks have been outscored 37-8 during their skid.
“You don’t expect to have to live through this stuff for an extended period of time,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.
Ryan Getzlaf had two assists while playing in his 967th contest, which set a club record for most games with the Ducks.
Kevin Boyle made 24 saves in his NHL debut in his relief of Chad Johnson, who was lifted after the first period for allowing four goals on 14 shots. Johnson was in net in place of All-Star John Gibson, who suffered an upper body injury in the third period of the Ducks’ 4-0 loss at Ottawa on Thursday.
Varone got the goal-barrage started in the first by scoring from close range with a shot over Johnson’s right arm 2:44 into the contest.
Couturier’s wrist shot from the left circle went off the post and in with 9:36 left in the period to make it 2-0, and Raffl added another with a short-handed tally 1 ½ minutes later with a wrist shot that beat Johnson on the glove side after a great outlet pass from Scott Laughton.
And Lindblom finished Philadelphia’s first-period burst with a bit of luck. Couturier’s pass in front went off Lindblom’s skate and over the goal line with 2:14 left in the period.
“It’s mind-boggling,” Carlyle said of Anaheim’s slow starts of late. “It seems that everything bad that can happen, happens. We had four glorious opportunities in the first period to give us some life. They get their four goals in an area that we have to defend. That’s one-on-one battles and defending with some stiffness and we didn’t do that.”
Boyle kept the Flyers off the board with a solid, 13-save second period, and the Ducks got a power-play goal 51 seconds into the second when Henrique finished Ritchie’s pass from behind the net.
Notes: Philadelphia traded F Dale Weise and D Christian Folin to Montreal for D David Schlemko and F Byron Froese. Schlmeko and Froese will report to Philadelphia’s AHL Lehigh Valley affiliate. … The Flyers swept the season series. They also won at Anaheim, 3-2 on Oct. 30. … Hart has allowed seven goals on 114 shots during his winning streak.
Anaheim: Play first of three straight at home vs. Vancouver on Wednesday.
Philadelphia: End five-game homestand against Pittsburgh on Monday.