Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart is congratulated on his second straight shutout by defensemen Ivan Provorov, left, and Philippe Myers after Philadelphia’s 2-0 win over Montreal in Toronto on Tuesday. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

 

TORONTO — Carter Hart stopped 29 shots for his second straight shutout, Michael Raffl and Phil Myers each scored and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Tuesday to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference playoff series.

The top-seeded Flyers can wrap up the series in Game 5 on Wednesday. The Flyers haven’t advanced to the second round of the playoffs since 2012, made the Stanley Cup Final since 2010 or won it all since 1975.

Put in Broad Street in a bubble. The Flyers are playing like a serious contender to win the Cup.

It’s the fifth time in NHL history a goalie had back-to-back postseason shutouts before age 23 and the first since Felix Potvin in 1994.

Hart again led the way. He became the youngest goalie in Flyers history to notch a shutout in Game 3 on Sunday at 22 years, 3 days and followed it up with another stellar effort against the Canadiens.

So much isn’t working for the Flyers. They entered 1-for-28 on the power play and the top line continues to struggle. But the depth that helped the Flyers win nine straight games shortly before the break and then win all of their round-robin games in the restart to grab the top spot was in full force.

Raffl flicked the puck past veteran Carey Price for a top shelf goal just 6:32 into the game for a 1-0 lead. Myers made it 2-0 with 2:56 left in the second on a shot that was set to wobble wide of the net. Price made a rare mistake and stabbed at the puck, only to have it deflect into the net and give Myers his second goal of the postseason.

Alain Vigneault, who led the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final, has hit all the right notes in his first season on the bench in Philadelphia.

The Flyers used a record eight goalies last season but have been steadied under Hart — and stout backup Brian Elliott — in Vigneault’s first season. Vigneault rode Henrik Lundqvist in New York to within three wins of a championship and Roberto Luongo had four playoff shutouts when the Canucks reached the Final in 2011.

Hart doesn’t quite have the resume of those two stars quite yet — but with two straight shutouts, he’s proved worthy of the expectations heaped on him as Philadelphia’s franchise goalie.

STARS 2, FLAMES 1:  Dallas defenseman John Klingberg scored his first goal since the NHL’s restart early in the third period, and Dallas held to beat Calgary in a crucial Game 5 of their Western Conference playoff series Tuesday.

Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin teamed up for the first goal as the Stars took a 3-2 lead in the first-round series. They can reach the second round for the second straight year with a victory in Game 6 on Thursday. It’s been 19 years since the Stars won playoff series in consecutive seasons.

Vladimir Tarasenko, vladimir tarasenko

Vladimir Tarasenko, right, is is out for the remainder of the Blues’ first-round series after aggravating his surgically repaired shoulder. David Zalubowski/Associated Press

NOTES

BLUES: Vladimir Tarasenko will miss the rest of the St. Louis Blues’ first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks after aggravating his surgically repaired left shoulder.

The team said Tuesday that Tarasenko is returning to St. Louis to have the shoulder looked at by team doctors. His status will be updated Monday, which is scheduled to be the day off before the start of the second round.

Tarasenko missed Games 3 and 4, which the Blues won to tie the series. Game 5 is Wednesday.

“He’s not feeling right, and so that’s why he’s going to get it looked at,” Coach Craig Berube said. “It’s concerning, but we don’t know a lot yet, so I’m not going to jump to conclusions on anything.”

The 28-year-old Russian winger missed the majority of the season after having his dislocated shoulder operated on in October. He returned to the ice for training camp but had zero points and 10 shots in goal in four games since the NHL restarted and clearly didn’t look like himself.

“For sure he wasn’t full out, but in saying that, I didn’t think there was anything wrong,” Berube said. “I understood why, coming back from surgery and nine months off. … It’s not easy being off that long and coming back and just jumping right into it and being full out. I knew he’d come back and probably ease his way in a little bit.”

The defending Stanley Cup champions played the majority of the season without Tarasenko and were first in the Western Conference when the season was halted in March.

“The way we play, too, is pretty simple and everybody play for each other and we work hard,” said winger Jacob de la Rose, who took Tarasenko’s spot in the lineup. “Blues hockey is get pucks deep, play hard, play good defensively and that’s what we’ve been doing here and I feel like that’s what we did all year too during the regular season, so even if we lose guys, it’s easy for a guy like me here coming into the series, too. You know what they expect of you.”

Tarasenko had 11 goals and six assists during the Blues’ title run last year. He had 10 points in 10 games this season before being injured.

Berube isn’t worried about not having Tarasenko for at least the next two games.

“We’re a team,” he said. “We play without players at times because you have to with injuries and different situations that come up. Our team is what makes us a good team. We just rely on each other and different people can come in and take people’s spots and just do the job.”

MONDAY’S LATE GAME

BLUES 3, CANUCKS 1: Ryan O’Reilly had two goals and an assist as St. Louis beat Vancouver 3-1 in Game 4 on Monday night to even in their first-round playoff series.

Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Blues and added an assist. Jake Allen made 22 saves.

J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 34 shots.


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