Carter Hart’s numbers are numbing.

Regarded as one of the NHL’s best young goaltenders last year, Hart has had a stunning fall this season.

Some of it can be attributed to the team’s shaky defense, but Hart has come up very small on shots he was turning aside last season.

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Hart, 22, still has a promising future. His resume — his excellent first full NHL season (2.42 GAA, .914 save percentage), his dominance on the junior level and in World Juniors — suggests he will regain his form and be a quality goaltender.

But his latest slump has deflated his team, stalled any momentum it had tried to build, and crippled the Flyers’ playoff hopes.

Hart has lost his last seven starts, compiling an .850 save percentage and 4.04 goals-against average in that span.

For the season, he has had a save percentage of at least .904 — the league average — in just nine of his 26 games.

When you look at those numbers, it’s surprising that the Flyers are only four points out of a playoff spot.

Overall, Hart has eight wins in 24 decisions — an 8-11-5 record — and a 3.79 GAA and .872 save percentage.

Bruce Boudreau, a former NHL coach who is now an analyst with the NHL Network, said the Flyers shouldn’t panic about Hart’s regression this season.

“I’ve seen [Montreal’s] Carey Price go through the same thing,” he said before Hart allowed four goals in the Flyers’ 5-3 loss Sunday to worst-in-the-NHL Buffalo. “When he came up, he was like God’s gift, then went through a couple years when [Jaroslav] Halak was there and he was sort of the backup and he was struggling. I know he got pulled in the series [against Washington] that we lost to them.

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“And then all of a sudden, he caught fire. I wouldn’t worry too much about Carter Hart. Young goalies go through this and I’m sure he’ll bounce back. I know [Alain Vigneault] gave him a couple days off to work hard in practice and maybe that’s what he needed because it looks like he’s starting to come around again.”

Hart put together three straight encouraging starts before Sunday’s loss to the shorthanded Sabres. He allowed another goal on a shot to his glove side in that game, and his rebound control wasn’t great (see Buffalo’s game-winning goal) as the Flyers suffered probably their most devastating loss of the season.


The Flyers play in Washington on Tuesday. They have 15 games left and are four points behind Boston, which has two games in hand. ... The Flyers’ revived penalty kill is 13-for-13 over the last four games.