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Flyers goalie Brian Elliott almost ready, but he may go to Phantoms for brief stint

Elliott hasn't played since Nov. 15. He could be back with the team by the end of the week.

Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, shown making a save against the New Jersey Devils, has played in just 14 games this season but may return soon.
Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, shown making a save against the New Jersey Devils, has played in just 14 games this season but may return soon.Read moreELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

Flyers goalie Brian “Moose” Elliott is making progress from an apparent core-muscle/groin injury, and interim coach Scott Gordon said there was a chance he could rejoin the team at the end of next week.

After practicing with the team Thursday morning, Elliott, who hasn’t played since Nov. 15, said he wouldn’t be against a rehab stint with the AHL’s Phantoms.

“With how the team is rolling right now, it probably would be nice to just get a feel for some game action and some quick side-to-side moves that you’re trying to get in practice, but maybe sometimes you can’t simulate all those scramble-y, chaos situations,” Elliott said before the Flyers took an eight-game winning streak into Thursday’s game against Los Angeles. “That’s the thing we’re talking about right now.”

Anthony Stolarz, coming off a 1-0 win over the Rangers, got thestart Thursday. Rookie sensation Carter Hart, who has won seven straight and has a 2.26 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in that span, had started nine of the previous 10 games.

“I think I can do it right now,” Elliott said of his readiness to return, “but I want to definitely be sure and take the necessary options to be ready and eventually help the team win some games down the stretch here.”

In 14 games with the Flyers this season, Elliott was 6-7-1 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.

Elliott, 33, said he has talked a bit to the 20-year-old Hart.

“But when you’re kind of on a roll, you just let things go. Too many thoughts can be bad," he said.

"I think he’s doing a great job. I think we’ve definitely put more focus on playing a good defensive structure and breaking out of our zone, so we’re not spending too much time in there. I think that’s helping, and when we have been a little sloppy, he’s been making the saves. It’s a good combination.”

When Elliott does return, the Flyers will probably have three goalies on the roster.

“… Sometimes it gets a little crowded, but if you handle things the right way, I think it can be done for sure,” Elliott said.

Simmonds negotiations

As the Feb. 25 trade deadline inches closer, there has not been any progress in negotiations between Wayne Simmonds and the Flyers, according to a source.


As expected, forward Jori Lehtera cleared waivers. He was sent to the Phantoms, and the Flyers did not recall any player. The Flyers do not have an extra forward on their roster. With Lehigh Valley so close, “we can bring somebody up” if the need arises, Gordon said. “If we go on a road trip, then it might be a little different.” … According to Sports Club Stats, the Flyers have a 3.3 percent chance to make the playoffs, while the Kings have a 1.3 percent chance.