Exhale, Flyers fans.
Goalie Carter Hart, who left Tuesday’s intrasquad scrimmage because of apparent back spasms and missed Wednesday’s practice, returned to the ice Thursday and took some shots from four teammates.
Hart did not play in Thursday’s scrimmage, but he was on the ice after it ended.
Coach Alain Vigneault said Hart was not used in the scrimmage “because he hadn’t skated for two days.”
After conferring with goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh and trainer Jim McCrossin, “we felt it smarter to put him out there on his own,” Vigneault said. “Let him take a good number of shots and see how he feels. He felt good. Everything should be good to go [Friday].”
Captain Claude Giroux angrily shot the puck down the ice at the end of the first period in Thursday’s scrimmage, frustrated that he and his teammates were unable to score on a 10-minute power play.
The penalty kill, which included Nate Thompson, Scott Laughton, Tyler Pitlick, Michael Raffl, Derek Grant, Robert Hagg, Justin Braun, Nate Prosser, and Tyler Wotherspoon at different times, was dominant in the first part of the scrimmage before the power play started to get into a bit of a rhythm.
All told, the penalty kill, keyed by goalie Brian Elliott’s strong play, allowed just two goals while being (purposely) shorthanded for about 20 minutes in the scrimmage.
“It’s easy to get frustrated when the power play’s not going well, but if you look at it from the other side of the coin, that means our PK right now is right where it should be and improving,” right winger Travis Konecny said.
As for the power play, Vigneaullt said the four games before the playoffs — an exhibition against the Penguins and the round-robin tourney — will give the team a “good amount of time to get it back to where it was.”