After being sidelined for nearly a month, Flyers goalie Carter Hart has found his rhythm.
Since returning to the lineup Feb. 10 from an abdominal strain, Hart is 7-1 with a 2.14 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.
That makes it likely that coach Alain Vigneault will turn to Hart in Washington on Wednesday, showing the 21-year-old goaltender he has confidence in him in a big spot.
The Capitals (40-19-6) are atop the Metropolitan Division standings, three points ahead of the second-place Flyers (38-20-7). Both teams have 17 regular-season games remaining. Pittsburgh (37-21-6) is three points behind the Flyers and has a game in hand.
The Flyers have won a season-best six straight, with Hart in the net for five of those victories.
“We’re just having fun and playing hard,” said Hart, whose team has one more win than its final victory total last season. “But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, either.”
Hart won two of his last three road starts, including Sunday’s 5-3 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
The Flyers are 2-0-1 against the Caps this season. Brian Elliott was in goal in the latest win, a 7-2 victory in Washington on Feb. 8. It was the Capitals’ worst loss of the season, and Claude Giroux ended a 13-game goalless streak.
Hart played in the other two games against the Caps, both at home. He made 35 saves but dropped a 2-1 shootout decision on Nov. 13. He made 25 saves in a 3-2 win Jan. 8, a game in which the Flyers’ penalty kill was 5-for-5.
“We know they’re a good team. We’ve played them already three times this year, and we know we can play with them,” Hart said.
Washington’s power play is 1-for-12 against the Flyers this season; the Flyers’ power play is 3-for-11 in those three games.
Right winger Travis Konecny, who will turn 23 on March 11, leads the Flyers with 60 points, including a goal and an assist in the win Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Sunday, he became the third Flyers player in the last 21 seasons to reach 60 points during a season in which he was 22 or younger, according to the NHL. Konecny joined Simon Gagne (66 points in 2001-02) and Mike Richards (61 points in 2007-08).
In his last 11 games, Konecny has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists).
After playing in Washington, the Flyers will have six of their next seven games at home, where they are 23-5-4. They are 15-15-3 on the road. … The Caps are 18-9-5 at home, 22-10-1 on the road. … The Flyers have scored at least four goals in each of their six victories during their current winning streak. … Matt Niskanen, a former Capital, has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) and a plus-13 rating in his last 16 games.