At age 21, Flyers goaltender Carter Hart's National Hockey League career is still in its relative infancy. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that, he has started it out by going a combined 13-for-15 in stopping shootout (12-for-14) and penalty shot attempts (1-for-1).
Already in his young career, Hart has had to go one-on-one with some of the NHL's most feared offensive weapons.
Here's a look inside the penalty shot and shootout saves Hart made in the Boston game.
On March 26, 2019, in his first-ever shootout in the NHL and a night where the Flyers were facing mathematical elimination from the playoffs, Hart stopped Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, John Tavares (who lost the puck en route to the net) and William Nylander in succession in going 5-for-5 in a shootout win against Toronto. That's a veritable Murderer's Row of shooters on a single team.
One night after Elliott and the Flyers got the bonus point from their shootout win in Toronto, Hart faced an equally daunting array of shooters in Boston. Late in regulation, Hart had stop a penalty shot attempt from the NHL's leading goal scorer this season, David Pastrnak. Subsequently, in a shootout, Hart stopped Charlie Coyle, Brad Marchand and Pastrnak again to nail down a 3-2 victory.
3rd PERIOD - 4:56 remaining
The Pastrnak Penalty Shot
With 4:56 left, the game was tied at 2-2, and a nightmarish scenario began to unfold.
The deadly Pastrnak gained a half-step on Ivan Provorov for a partial breakaway opportunity on Hart. The Bruins forward had both possession and control of the puck and was impeded from behind by Provorov's stick. As a result, Pastrnak was awarded a penalty shot with the opportunity to put the Bruins ahead. With the Flyers' gas tank virtually on empty -- not the mention how emotionally devastating a go-ahead goal for Boston would have been for Philly after playing so well for two periods -- the game was on the line.
From his center ice faceoff dot starting spot, Pastrnak started out by gaining the Flyers blueline roughly in line with the left faceoff dot as he started to accelerate and move diagonally to the right once he got into the circle. In front of the net, Pastrnak attempted to deke. Hart didn't bite, and stayed right with him. Now at a severe angle to the right of the goal line and with Hart taking away everything down low, Pastrnak was unable to do much except shoot right into the goalie's stick.Video: PHI@BOS: Hart stops Pastrnak's bid on penalty shot
HART: "I just played it like any other play. I was trying to be patient and just follow the puck."
3rd PERIOD - 3:20-1:20 remaining
The late kill
Hart was tested several more times late in regulation after the penalty shot stop on Pastrnak. After Marchand drew a tripping penalty on Oskar Lindblom, Hart made two clutch saves on a late-third penalty kill and later tracked and cleanly came up with a deflected rising shot through traffic.
VIGNEAULT: "[Carter] knows that we're going to need him at some point. A lot of times in these games you need him early on to get your legs to get going, tonight it was different in the third period when we needed him he was huge."
All totaled, Hart made 26 saves on 28 shots through regulation and overtime, with 16 of the saves coming after the second period. Up next was the shootout.
HART: "They're fun. It's kind of like what we do after practices. Guys like to have fun and stay out, take breakaways and do a little two-puck and have a little fun. I think that's important in a shootout. Just go in there. Do your thing and have some fun."
Round 1: facing Charlie Coyle
The right-handed shooting Coyle cut in from the right circle, deking to the left and then going to the right post for an attempted stuff-in. Hart actually bit on the initial deke, and appeared to be dead-to-rights. Through sheer athleticism and competitiveness, he was able to recover enough to push off to the right, seal off the post and make a fully extended skate save.
COYLE: "You can't let it get frustrating. When that next one comes you have to capitalize. Nothing you can do about it now."
In the bottom of the first round, Joel Farabee chipped a simple forehand shot over a surprised Jaroslav Halak's glove for a 1-0 Flyers lead.
FARABEE: "I watched some video before we went into the shootout and I knew he was pretty good on his blocker, so if I was going to beat him it was going to be on his glove side so I just reacted to what he gave me."
Round 2: facing Brad Marchand
Next up was Marchand; one of the NHL's fastest skaters and most dangerous one-on-one players.
Marchand came in with speed, fairly straight in on the slot. He appeared to aiming for the low blocker side but found only Hart right pad.
Although the play was over at this point -- no rebound attempts are allowed in shootouts -- the often-petulant Bruins forward decided to take a whack at the rebound. Once again, the puck went right into Hart's pads; this time the left pad. Perhaps Marchand was simply frustrated with his shot attempt or perhaps he was trying to play a mind-game with Hart. Either way, the second puck was symbolically rejected, too.
Round 3: facing Pastrnak... again
After a Giroux miss, the Flyers needed one final save by Hart to win.
Once again, he went up against Pastrnak. The second time around, Pastrnak tried out Hart on the other side. He made a head fake and attempted a backhander near the left post. Hart snuffed him out, and the game was over.
BRUCE CASSIDY (Bruins head coach): "I will sometimes mix it up if I feel a guy is having a good game. Marchy [Brad Marchand] and Pasta [David Pastrnak] typically go. I talked to Pasta today about it. He had a penalty shot earlier, so does that help you or hurt you getting one practice run. I still think he's good at it, but I think we're now 0-for-7, so maybe we do maybe got to look at going outside the box."Video: PHI@BOS: Hart seals shootout win for Flyers