PHILADELPHIA — Sean Couturier had a hat trick, Carter Hart stopped 39 shots and the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Couturier scored twice within 90 seconds in the second period and sealed the win with his 19th goal late in the third for his first career regular-season hat trick (two in the playoffs). He gave the Flyers hat tricks in consecutive games after James van Riemsdyk kicked it off in Monday’s win.
The Flyers entered in 30th place in the NHL and got a rare comeback victory in front of another sparse crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. The fans that showed up caught a slice of franchise history: Claude Giroux got his 500th career assist and joined Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke (852) as the only Flyers to hit that milestone.
Hart, the 20-year-old rookie goalie, had another solid game as he tries to meet the hype that surrounded his call-up last month. Hart may not get the Flyers to the playoffs, but he at least helped them win consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 18-20.
Peter Cehlarik scored in his first game of the season and David Pastrnak scored in the first period to stake Boston to a 2-0 lead. Pastrnak scored on the power play just 4:29 into the game. Cehlarik made it a 2-0 on a slapper on a shot where no Flyer was anywhere near him.
The Flyers didn’t even take their first shot until nearly 12 minutes into the game, and it seemed like it was shaping up to be another sorry game for the fallen franchise.
They salvaged a goal in the first period when Giroux snagged a loose puck at the blueline and fed to Oskar Lindblom for his fifth goal of the season. Lindblom scored for the first time in 31 games.
Couturier took over from there and sparked the Flyers to one of their more memorable wins of the season. He tied it on a tip-in past Jaroslav Halak and got the feed from Wayne Simmonds — after Carter turned away the puck off an odd-man rush — for the 3-2 lead.
Hart made the lead stand in a ferocious third where the Bruins got a second goal from Cehlarik to make it 4-2 with 1:06 left.
Couturier has 18 goals and is one of the few untouchables — along with Giroux and Hart — the Flyers have as they trudge toward the Feb. 25 trade deadline. Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher, hired in November, will surely look to shake up the team and perhaps undergo a true rebuild.
NOTES: Flyers F Jori Lehtera got a 5-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for driving Ryan Donato face-first into the boards late in the second period. … NASCAR star Martin Truex Jr. attended the game and was presented a No. 19 jersey (his car number) from Gritty.
Bruins host St. Louis on Thursday.
Flyers play Saturday at Montreal.
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Dan Gelston, The Associated Press