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POSTGAME 5: Hart Stopper!

Carter Hart brilliant as Flyers blank Devils on home ice, 4-0

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

The Flyers raised their early-season record to 2-0-0 as they defeated the New Jersey Devils in the regular season opener at the Wells Fargo Center by a 4-0 score.

Ivan Provorov scored the game's only goal through two periods. Closely spaced goals in the third period by Kevin Hayes and Sean Couturier early in the third period opened a three-goal lead. Travis Konency added additional insurance and secured his second straight multi-point game.

Carter Hart notched the first shutout of his NHL career. He stopped all 24 shots he faced. Cory Schneider stopped 30 of 34 shots in the loss.

Three Stars:
1st: Carter Hart (24-save shutout)
2nd: Ivan Provorov (1g-1a)
3rd: Sean Couturier (1g, 6 shots)

TURNING POINT
With the Flyers leading 1-0 but down on a 5-on-3 disadvantage for a full two minutes late in the second period, Carter Hart's phenomenal arm save on a Taylor Hall shot from point blank range kept the Flyers ahead. Meanwhile, at the time, the Flyers had their No. 1 (Sean Couturier) and No. 2 (Kevin Hayes) centers in the penalty box.Video: NJD@PHI: Hart shuts down Hall's heavy one-timer

MELTZER'S TAKE

* The early pace in the first period was high-tempo and intense. The Flyers brought strong pressure in the neutral zone both in terms of the forecheck and applying back pressure. The Devils' play picked up after killing off the game's first penalty. Late in the period, Hart made a 10-bell save to keep the game scoreless.

* Longtime Philadelphia fan favorite Wayne Simmonds received a raucous warm welcome from the Wells Fargo Center crowd. He did a 360-degree turn on the Devils bench to acknowledge the ovation.Video: NJD@PHI: Simmonds honored in return to Philadelphia

* The Couturier line was nothing short of dominant early in the second period, generating a slew of pressure and two great chances. An even better chance belonged to Claude Giroux, in all alone on Schneider, but he hit the post on his backhander. Philly continued to dominate with outstanding puck pressure and, when the Devils tried to pass, the puck was often picked off. Several more prime chances followed Provorov's power play goal, including a second hit post (Michael Raffl).

* Go to the net and good things will often happen: That's how Kevin Hayes and Sean Couturier got rewarded in quick succession as the Flyers' lead grew from 1-0 to 3-0.

* The Flyers did a stronger closeout job against the Devils than they did against the Blackhawks, keeping up the puck pressure and outshooting New Jersey by a 12-6 margin. When called upon, Hart remained flawless.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
* The Flyers are 2-0-0 for the first time since the 2011-12 season - a span of eight years.

* Carter Hart became the youngest goaltender in Flyers history to record a shutout, doing so at the age of 21 years, 57 days. He surpasses Dominic Roussel, who shut out Calgary on February 27, 1992 at the age of 22 years, five days.
 
* Two Flyers have now recorded points in both games - Ivan Provorov & Travis Konecny.

* Travis Konecny posted another multipoint game with a goal and an assist - he has five points in two games (3g-2a) to lead the Flyers early in the season.Video: NJD@PHI: Hayes, Couturier score twice in 24 seconds

* Ivan Provorov also posted a multipoint game with a goal and an assist - he has three points (1g-2a) through the first two games... and led the team for the second straight game in ice time (22:58).

* Kevin Hayes scored his first goal as a Flyer... Shayne Gostisbehere played in his 300th career game... Sean Couturier led the team with six shots... Robert Hagg led the team with six hits.

THEY SAID IT

Video: Hear from Couturier and Hart following win over NJDVideo: Hear from Flyers coach following win over NJD

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