Updated: 6:32 p.m.
It's never easy for the Flyers in net.
Things got only tougher Tuesday as goalie Brian Elliott underwent core muscle surgery and is expected out five to six weeks.
For the time being, the Flyers will turn to Michal Neuvirth and Alex Lyon. Speaking before tonight's game against the Devils at the Wells Fargo Center, general manager Ron Hextall said the Flyers plan to roll with Neuvirth and Lyon during Elliott's absence, although the team will keep its options open (see story).
The 32-year-old Elliott sustained the injury during last Saturday night's shootout against the Coyotes. Neuvirth won the skills competition in relief and then beat the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights on Sunday night.
“We’ve got confidence with him in net, a lot of confidence,” Wayne Simmonds said Tuesday of Neuvirth (see story). “He gets us that win in a shootout. He comes in in a pinch and does a great job, and then he plays unbelievable against Vegas. Of course we have faith in him.”
Elliott is 21-11-7 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in his first season with the Flyers after signing a two-year deal in the offseason.
Neuvirth is 7-7-2 with a 2.50 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 18 games (14 starts). Throughout his time with the Flyers, he's played well when needed to fill in. The key, as usual with Neuvirth, will be staying healthy. Last season, he never quite got right as he battled a left knee injury and sickness. In 2015-16, his first season with the Flyers, Neuvirth went 18-8-4 with a 2.27 goals-against average and .924 save percentage, as well as 2-1-0 with 103 saves on 105 shots in the playoffs.
“Neuvy will go out and do his job,” head coach Dave Hakstol said at Tuesday's morning skate. “He did that in Vegas. There’s no overemphasis on anything. There’s a lot of imperfect situations. You band together and you go do a job and right now Neuvy has a job to do for our team.”
Lyon, a 25-year-old rookie, has just three career NHL games under his belt.
With 26 games to go, the Flyers entered Tuesday in playoff position, holding third place in the Metropolitan Division.