CHICAGO – Carter Hart is looking to help the Flyers rally into a playoff spot.
If the 20-year-old rookie is feeling any pressure, it’s hard to tell.
Hart made 40 saves, and James van Reimsdyk snapped a tie in the third period, helping Philadelphia beat the Blackhawks, 3-1, on Thursday night.
Corban Knight also scored as Philadelphia picked up a sorely needed victory after dropping three of four. The Flyers (36-30-8) moved within five points of the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s crunch time right now, but we’re just coming to the rink every day and just worrying about our group and everything that’s going on in here,” Hart said. “All that excess noise, we can’t control any of that. We can’t control how other teams are playing or any of that.”
Hart made his fourth start since returning from a lower-body injury. He has stopped 114 of 118 shots in his past three games.
The Hawks (32-31-10) missed out on a chance to gain ground in the race for the second wild card out West. Erik Gustafsson scored, and Corey Crawford made 25 stops.
“I’m aware of the standings. I’m aware we need points, but it’s how we play that matters,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. “That’s where we’re at.”
The Hawks got one shot on their only other power play in the second period. They have one power-play goal in their past nine games.
“If we score or not, we’ve got to get some momentum off it,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “We’ve got to find that poise in moving the puck, getting open for each other. When things were going really well for us, we had four guys playing well without the puck, being available, moving it quick.”
Note: The NHL announced Thursday that the Flyers and Hawks will open next season Oct. 4 in Prague as part of the league’s Global Series. It’s the third consecutive year the NHL is staging regular-season games in Europe and eighth year overall.
... Hawks F Drake Caggiula joined the team for its morning skate, but he missed his ninth consecutive game since he suffered a concussion against Anaheim on Feb. 27. ... Flyers F Michael Raffl was scratched because of an illness. D Philippe Myers returned to the lineup after he missed Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to Montreal with an illness.
Hawks: Visit the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Flyers: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday.