Carter Hart returns, helps Flyers top Hurricanes

Goaltender Carter Hart returned to action for the Philadelphia Flyers and made 31 saves in a 3-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night at Raleigh, N.C.

Owen Tippett, Travis Konecny and Ryan Poehling scored the Philadelphia goals. Six other players had one assist, putting nine Flyers on the scoresheet in the team’s third consecutive victory.

Stefan Noesen scored for the Hurricanes, who began a five-game homestand. Carolina goalie Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 21 shots.

Hart, who hadn’t played since Nov. 1 because of a back injury and illness, missed five games. Twelve of his saves came in the third period.

Hart was mostly sharp and also benefited from a couple of fortunate situations. Carolina forward Michael Bunting’s bid for a goal was thwarted early in the third period when the puck bounced off the crossbar.

Carolina had a power-play goal in six of its previous seven games, but the Hurricanes went 0-for-3 on the man advantage on Wednesday night.

The Flyers were productive at the beginning of the first two periods, also having a strong final minute of the opening period.

The Flyers’ first goal came 1:50 into the game. Louie Belpedio set up Tippett, who tallied his sixth goal of the season. It marked the first shot on goal in the game.

Konecny’s 10th goal of the season came with 58 seconds left in the first period on a tip-in.

The Hurricanes had two close-range chances in the first period but didn’t convert on shots by Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jordan Martinook.

Poehling’s first goal of the season came just 29 seconds into the second period. His role had changed, as he was on a line with Joel Farabee and Scott Laughton, fulfilling coach John Tortorella’s quest to get more offense from Poehling.

Noesen scored 11 minutes into the second period to put the Hurricanes on the board. It was his fourth goal of the season.