Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart may have played the last game of the 2021-22 season.
Hart, 23, appeared to injure his right leg late in the first period of the Flyers’ 9-2 loss Tuesday in Washington. He did not return for the second period, and the Flyers faced a 3-1 deficit at the time.
Before Wednesday’s game against the Rangers, Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo read off a laundry list of players who were unable to play because of injuries suffered Tuesday.
Hart was at the top of the list.
Yeo said forward Patrick Brown was likely out for the season, and he added he was concerned that Hart could suffer a similar fate.
This injury to Hart, Yeo said, is different than the nagging one that has plagued him recently.
Felix Sandstrom was recalled from the Phantoms and made the second start of his NHL career Wednesday.
As for Hart, if his season has ended, it was good improvement from last year’s disaster (3.67 GAA, .877 save percentage). This season, he has a 3.16 GAA and .905 save percentage while playing behind a porous defense.
But Hart left a bad taste by losing his last five starts and allowing 22 goals in his last 4 1/3 games. His save percentages in those five games: .862, 882, .786, .897, and .700, respectively.
From here, the Flyers need a young goalie to push Hart next season, whether it’s the 25-year-old Sandstrom or 6-foot-7 Ivan Fedotov, who has starred in Russia’s KHL.
The Flyers are trying to sign Fedotov, but getting him over to North America isn’t as easy as it was before Russia invaded Ukraine. The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Fedotov, now 25, in the seventh round in 2015.
Meanwhile, veteran left winger James van Riemsdyk said Hart made strides this season.
“I know he took it pretty personally, how last year went,” van Riemsdyk said. “So he wanted to have a strong summer and a strong season. I would say both our goalies this year have done a fairly good job of giving us a chance every night.”
In parts of four NHL seasons, Hart has a 62-61-16 record, a 2.97 GAA, and a .905 save percentage.