Vigneault: ‘Our belief in Carter has not changed'


The Flyers (13-8-3) have a big home game Saturday against the Capitals (16-6-4).

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

  • When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6 p.m. ET
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Live stream: and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Every game is important in this shortened 56-game regular season, but Saturday night's contest feels especially big for the Flyers considering they've suffered four regulation losses over their last six games.

The Capitals have handed the Flyers their last two losses by a combined score of 8-4. Saturday marks the final game of the Flyers' four-game homestand before the team heads to New York for four straight road games split between the Rangers and Islanders.

Given the circumstances and that Carter Hart said four days ago he doesn't feel like himself, Alain Vigneault doesn't want to throw the 22-year-old back in there just yet. The head coach will go back to Brian Elliott on Saturday night. The Capitals are rolling and the Flyers desperately need to stem their own tide. The Flyers aren't going to coddle Hart, but finding the right time for his return will not be taken lightly. 

"I just feel Carter needs a couple more days here," Vigneault said Saturday before morning skate. "He's been working hard, stepping on the ice and stopping the next puck, working with [goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh] are all things that are going to build him and bring him back in the right direction. As we've all stated — myself, coaching staff, management — our belief in Carter has not changed. He's going through a rough patch and he's got to work himself through it."

The veteran Elliott will appear in his fifth game over the last 10 days. Hart was pulled at first intermission in Tuesday's 5-4 shootout win over the Sabres and has a 3.61 goals-against average.

"He's young, man," Oskar Lindblom said Saturday. "There are going to be ups and downs. He's been really good some games for us and some games have been tougher for him, but that's how it is; he's not going to be straight up in his whole career. I just try to make him relax, have fun and do his thing out there and just keep on working. ... He's going to come back soon. I'm not worried about him."

• After sitting as a healthy scratch for the second time in the past eight games, Philippe Myers will return to the lineup and play alongside Travis Sanheim. It also appears that Nate Prosser will enter the lineup and be paired with Shayne Gostisbehere. The two were paired together at morning skate.

Erik Gustafsson and Robert Hagg were paired together and skating with the extras after practice, so they're expected to sit.

• Michael Raffl (swollen right hand) will miss a fourth straight game. Raffl on Saturday got in work with skills coach Angelo Ricco as the winger continues to test out his right hand, which took a shot in last Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Penguins.

"It could be day to day, it could be week to week," Vigneault said Thursday. "We'll have to just keep a close eye on that."

Projected lineup



James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee

Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny

Jakub Voracek-Claude Giroux-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Oskar Lindblom-Nolan Patrick-Andy Andreoff


Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Shayne Gostisbehere-Nate Prosser


Brian Elliott

Carter Hart

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