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No Flyers Goalie Controversy; Carter Hart is Torts’ No. 1



Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers

Sam Ersson, the Philadelphia Flyers’ promising rookie goalie, has a .sizzling .947 save percentage in his last four starts.

But there is no goalie controversy in Philly.

Carter Hart, to borrow a phrase from the late, great Harry Kalas, “You are The Man!”

Hart (2.97 GAA, .908 SP in 29 GP) will start Wednesday against the visiting Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin.

Ersson (2.30, .924 in 5 GP) is coming off a 4-0 win Monday in Buffalo. Did that make coach John Tortorella’s goaltender decision difficult for tonight?

“No,” he said Wednesday morning at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees. “He’s played really well, but no. Carter’s going to play.”

Tortorella was asked if he would give Ersson more starts than he gave Felix Sandstrom. Sandstrom is now on a two-week conditioning stint with the AHL’s Phantoms.

“When we set up this thing when Sandy went down, Ers was going to play some games,” he said. “The whole schedule just worked out well. It’s not changing my thinking. It was in my thinking that Ers was going to play some games.

“But Carter’s the No. 1 guy,” he added. “He’s playing tonight, and Ers will play some here before we have to figure out Sandy and all that stuff comes around.”

Sandstrom (3.38, .888) would have to clear waivers to remain with Lehigh Valley. Ersson is waiver-exempt and could go down to the Phantoms.

Ovi in town

Ovechkin (29 goals in 43 games) has 809 career goals in his chase of Wayne Gretzky (894) as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer. Ovi is No. 2.

Tortorella has coached against both superstars, declined a comparison when asked who was more difficult to defend.

Ovechkin, 37, has 46 goals in 69 career games against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Defending him is obviously a challenge.

“I don’t think you can treat him like any other player,” center Morgan Frost said. “You have to know where he is all over the ice. He can shoot from anywhere, so you have to keep your head on a swivel and try to keep the puck away from him as much as you can.”


The Flyers (16-18-7) have won five of their last six games and are nine points out of a playoff spot. … After tonight, the Flyers have a rematch with the Caps (23-14-6) on Saturday in Washington. … The Caps have outscored their opponents, 58-35, in the second period.

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