COLUMBUS, Ohio — After nine days on the shelf, Brian Elliott will get the nod for the Flyers’ game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
The veteran goaltender last played in the Flyers’ 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Feb. 11. He allowed four goals, including a back-breaking score late in the third period.
“We’ve got a lot of games left,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said after the team’s morning skate at Nationwide Arena. “We’ve used both goaltenders throughout the year. Brian’s been real good for us, so it’s his turn to play.”
Carter Hart had 28 saves against the Blue Jackets during the Flyers’ 5-1 win Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center. Hart’s home-road splits this season might have played into the decision. The 21-year-old is 15-2-2 at home, compared to a 3-10-1 road record.
Elliott has taken the brunt of the road duties and has fared much better, playing in 21 games and going 10-5-2 in unfamiliar territory.
The Flyers will be without a steady veteran on the blue line with Justin Braun home sick. The 33-year-old defenseman didn’t make the trip after having flu-like symptoms, Vigneault said.
Braun is in his first season with the team after spending nine years with the San Jose Sharks. He’s second on the team in blocked shots with 70 and spends an average of 17 minutes, 21 seconds on the ice each game.
The Flyers called up 24-year-old defenseman Mark Friedman from the Phantoms to fill Braun’s spot. Friedman has played five games with the Flyers this season. His last game was Jan. 16 against the Montreal Canadiens.