Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart will start Thursday night against the Washington Capitals for the first time since Feb. 21.

The breakout rookie missed the past three weeks due to an ankle injury after posting a 13-8-1 record since debuting on Dec. 18. 

Hart, who has a 2.79 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage this season, served as Brian Elliott's backup on Monday against the Ottawa Senators.

"I'm just excited to get back into a game," Hart said Tuesday. "I know it's been a little while... It was good to get back into the game lineup. Even though I wasn't playing, just kind of getting into the rhythm of warming up again and being around the guys again felt good."

The 20-year-old returns with the Flyers within five points of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild-card spot, with a game in hand. The team has 38 points since Jan. 14, which is tied for the most in the NHL.

Philadelphia will be without winger Jakub Voracek, whose two-game suspension was upheld by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday.