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Vigneault scratches Hart for next 2 games: 'He needs to work harder'

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

Carter Hart may have avoided the dreaded sophomore slump, but his third NHL campaign has certainly not gone as planned.

The Philadelphia Flyers netminder will be a healthy scratch for the club's next two games on Monday and Wednesday, and head coach Alain Vigneault wants the 22-year-old to work his way back into the crease.

"This is not a rest day for Carter, this is a work day for him," Vigneault said Monday, according to's Adam Kimelman.

"He's going to skate today in practice, stay on after, practice with the team tomorrow, stay on after. Wednesday he'll do the same thing ... he needs to work on his game. He needs to work harder, he needs to work better. I've had good conversations with him and Kim (Dillabaugh, goalie coach) about my expectations about his practice habits and him stopping the puck."

Hart cemented himself as one of the top young goalies in the league after his dominant playoff run in the bubble last summer. He posted a .926 save percentage and a 2.23 goals-against average over 14 starts to help lead the Flyers to the second round.

The 22-year-old has failed to replicate that level of play this season, however. Hart has allowed four or more goals in five of his last six starts and ranks dead last among all netminders (minimum 11 games played) in save percentage (.869) and goals saved above average (-23.06).

"I just need to find more ways to stop pucks. Just go out and play," Hart said earlier this month. "Not overthink things and just trust my game. It's just shitty right now."

Brian Elliott will start Monday against the last-place Buffalo Sabres, who are winless in their last 17 games.

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