Report: Flyers agree to 2-year deal with goalie Brian Elliott

Report: Flyers agree to 2-year deal with goalie Brian Elliott

Updated: 4:10 p.m.

It appears Ron Hextall has his goalie tandem.

A two-year deal with a $2.75 million AAV is in place between the Flyers and unrestricted free agent Brian Elliott, according to a report Friday by FOX Sports Midwest's Andy Strickland.

Teams are allowed to officially sign free agents starting at noon Saturday. Hextall could not comment on the report when speaking on a conference call Friday but said the team intends to sign a goalie Saturday.

Elliott, 32, has backed up and split time in net for much of his nine-year career. He's expected to do the same with Michal Neuvirth and the Flyers. Last season with the Flames, Elliott went 26-18-3 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 49 games (45 starts).

Elliott's best seasons came with the Blues from 2011-2016, a five-year stretch in which he went 104-46-16 with a 2.01 goals-against average, .925 save percentage and two All-Star bids. He also has a relatively clean health history and is a veteran of 41 playoff appearances.

The Flyers did not feel comfortable enough heading into the 2017-18 season with the oft-injured Neuvirth and inexperienced Anthony Stolarz as their goalie duo. Neuvirth has a track record of injuries, including two to his left knee over his pair of seasons with the Flyers, while 2016-17 ended with a scary fainting incident. Stolarz, a restricted free agent, is 23 years old and has played just seven NHL games. He also suffered a left knee injury in April that requires three to four months of recovery.

"Let's see if we can find an option that is better for us short term," Hextall said a day before the NHL draft. "There is always an option. Is [Stolarz] the best option? I don't know if you can say that."

The Flyers and unrestricted free agent Steve Mason decided to part ways, per the goalie's agent Thursday. Other options in net, via free agency, were Jonathan Bernier, Antti Niemi and Ryan Miller. Bernier will likely demand more money, while the aging Niemi is coming off a disastrous season and Miller, who turns 37 in July, looks to be headed out west.

With the goalie addition imminent and the re-signing of forward Jordan Weal Thursday, Hextall's work this offseason is nearly finished before free agency even kicks off. There had been rumblings of the Flyers' eyeing free-agent forward Justin Williams, but any thought of that or inking another forward now seems unlikely.

"I don't want to box out young players, so I don't want to bring in a 35-year-old veteran now and box out a young player," Hextall said. "We felt really strongly about Jordan Weal. If we didn't sign Jordan Weal, we might've looked for one more forward to try and upgrade our skill level. But now that we have Jordan in the fold, we're going to hold there. The only thing I anticipate tomorrow is signing a goalie and maybe some depth for down below."

Flyers stunned by their effort in bad loss at bad time

Flyers stunned by their effort in bad loss at bad time


DETROIT — The Flyers brought a cold engine to the Motor City and it took a good 40 minutes to finally get it started.

Sure, Dave Hakstol’s team rallied back from a two-goal deficit Tuesday to earn a point at a time when every point is critical, but losing a 5-4 shootout to a fragile Detroit team is unacceptable and unexplainable (see observations).

“Maybe we thought it was going to be an easy game,” Sean Couturier said. “We didn’t play the right way. We didn’t play hard. We wasted 40 minutes. We came back and got a big point, but we can’t be wasting time at this time of the year.”

On a night when the Flyers could have officially eliminated the Red Wings from postseason contention, they turned back the clock and made this Detroit team look more like the juggernaut that won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships 20 years ago. 

At least through the first two periods.

“The second period was god-awful,” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “We really didn’t help our cause out. We weren’t pushing plays and we just weren’t battling out there. You saw in the third what we could do when we light a fire under our ass. It’s tough like that when you dig yourself a hole and you come back, you expend a lot of energy. The positive we can take is that we got a point out of it.”

You may have never known this was the same Red Wings team that, like the Flyers in the first half of the season, had dropped 10 straight with an 0-9-1 record. Detroit had been outscored a whopping 41-19 from Feb. 28-March 18.

The Red Wings had also returned from a four-game Western Conference road trip less than 48 hours prior to the opening faceoff.

With eight games remaining on the Flyers' schedule, Hakstol is also mired in a goaltending dilemma. Petr Mrazek was rescued from Detroit to be the savior in Philadelphia following injuries to Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth. 

After winning his first three starts, Mrazek’s numbers reek of mediocrity: a 2-5-1 record, 3.72 GAA and an .860 save percentage. Most recently, he’s been pulled in favor of Alex Lyon in two of his last three games.

“The second one is a bad-angle goal,” Hakstol said. “Obviously, he wants that one back, but we gave up a number of opportunities that he was very strong on.”

Mrazek was pulled from the game at 3-1, and before heading to the locker room, he expressed his disappointment with the coaching staff over a non-goaltender interference call during the Red Wings' third goal.

“I talked to Coach and I was just wondering about the goalie interference because someone had bumped in there during the shot,” Mrazek said. “It wasn’t anything like I was mad or something that I got pulled. I was just asking him if there was a goalie interference or not.”

The Flyers' shootout loss coupled with the Blue Jackets' ninth straight victory now drops the orange and black into wild-card territory (see standings).

If this is indeed a playoff team, it needs to repair what’s under the hood and fix it fast.

Panthers rout Senators after death of Karlsson's son

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Panthers rout Senators after death of Karlsson's son

OTTAWA, Ontario -- Jared McCann had a goal and two assists to lead the Florida Panthers over the Senators 7-2 on Tuesday night as Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson sat out following the death of his son.

The team announced the death of Karlsson's son before the game. Erik and Melinda Karlsson were married last year and announced in November they were expecting their first child in the spring. The team released a statement offering its "collective thoughts and prayers" and requested privacy for the family.

Keith Yandle, Nick Bjugstad, Evgeni Dadonov, Jamie McGinn and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and an assist for Florida. Colton Sceviour had the other goal while James Reimer made 33 saves.

Patrick Sieloff and Marian Gaborik scored for the Senators, who lost their second straight. Craig Anderson started in goal but was replaced by Mike Condon after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Condon made 19 saves (see full recap).

Blue Jackets extend win streak to 9
NEW YORK -- Artemi Panarin had three goals and an assist, Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves and the Columbus Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to nine games with a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Markus Nutivaara and Alexander Wennberg also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have surged into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It is Columbus' longest winning streak since its 16-game run last season from Nov. 29, 2016, to Jan. 3, 2017.

Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad scored power-play goals and Kevin Hayes had a short-handed goal for the Rangers.

Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves in his first start since March 10 against Florida. Lundqvist was briefly shaken up when Matt Calvert upended him and knocked his helmet off with five minutes remaining.

With Columbus leading 3-2 in the third period, Lundqvist made a nice save as Cam Atkinson drove toward the net, but Panarin poked the puck free and in for his 24th goal at 11:19.

Kreider scored his 14th with 1:52 remaining to get the Rangers to 4-3.

Panarin added an empty-netter for the hat trick and his 25th of the season (see full recap).

Islanders jump all over Pens to snap skid
NEW YORK -- Mathew Barzal and Adam Pelech scored in the first period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Tuesday night.

Anders Lee had a goal in the third period and Jordan Eberle added an empty-netter to help the Islanders snap a three-game skid with just their second win in 13 games (2-7-4).

Christopher Gibson, pulled in his last start after giving up five goals on 12 shots against Washington last Thursday, stopped 36 shots and has both wins for New York in its recent stretch.

Conor Sheary scored for Pittsburgh, which was 5-1-1 in its previous seven but fell four points behind first-place Washington in the tight Metropolitan Division. Columbus pulled into a tie with the Penguins for second at 87 points -- Pittsburgh holds the tiebreaker over the Blue Jackets.

Matt Murray, returning after missing nine games due to a concussion, finished with 36 saves for the Penguins (see full recap).