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Alex Lyon expected to get call as Flyers try to slow surging Sabres

The Flyers will be trying to stop the surging Sabres on Wednesday in Buffalo, and goalie Alex Lyon could get his first NHL start of the season.

Goalie Alex Lyon could get his first start of the season for the Flyers Wednesday in Buffalo, which has won six straight.
Goalie Alex Lyon could get his first start of the season for the Flyers Wednesday in Buffalo, which has won six straight.Read moreYONG KIM

Goalie Alex Lyon, recalled from the AHL's Phantoms last week, is expected to make his first NHL start of the season Wednesday as the Flyers try to end a three-game losing streak when they play the surging Sabres in Buffalo.

Cal Pickard, who has a 4.60 goals-against average and .852 save percentage, is coming off a 6-5 overtime loss to Tampa Bay, so Lyon will probably get a chance against the Sabres.

Coach Dave Hakstol would not announce his goalie, but Lyon left the ice first at Tuesday's practice in Voorhees, usually an indication he will start the next night.

"I've prepared the right way," Lyon said after practice. "I'm just sticking to the same game plan. I just tried to go out and have a really good practice today, and whenever the situation may call, I'll be ready for it."

The Flyers (9-9-2) have outshot their last three opponents by a combined 104-83, but have been outscored, 11-6. They struck for four third-period goals in Saturday's loss.

Before the late outburst against the Lightning, the offense was stagnant for three straight games.

"We've probably generated more offense over the last three games than we had in the previous five games," Hakstol said. "The opportunities are coming. We weren't able to finish. We've talked about different things we can do a little better — simplifying things, making sure we're getting to the net, To have the floodgates open in the third period the other night was needed and was a good thing for us. I hope we'll be able to keep generating opportunities, and obviously the most important thing is to continue to finish."

While the Flyers are having a difficult time staying above the international symbol of mediocrity, the .500 level, Buffalo (13-6-2) has been one of the NHL's most surprising teams.

Getting strong production from Jack Eichel (24 points), Jeff Skinner (14 goals), and a revived Jason Pominville (nine goals, 17 points), the Sabres have won six straight, including a 5-4 overtime victory Monday in Pittsburgh. Buffalo overcame a 4-1 second-period deficit, and it has won six in a row for the first time since Dec. 27, 2009, to Jan. 8, 2010.

"They're a good team; they're streaking right now," center Sean Couturier said. "They've got a lot of talent, a lot of skill. It's going to be a tough game, a big challenge, We'll be ready."

Goalie Carter Hutton (2.61 GAA, .917 save percentage), signed as a free agent in the offseason, and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (10 points, plus-4), the No. 1 overall draft pick in June, have also played key roles for Buffalo, which is aiming for its first playoff berth since 2010-11.

In 11 appearances with the Flyers last season, Lyon was 4-2-1 with four no-decisions, a 2.75 GAA, and .905 save percentage.

Lyon said that in his first year, things were a "little intimidating," but that the game "slows down a little bit every time you're out there. I'm not going to say it's slow by any means. There are a lot of really good players. But it just gets a little easier every time you come up."

Lyon, 25, a former Yale standout, said he was "ready to lay all my chips on the table and kind of see where I'm at. Just play as hard as I can and the best I can. I feel comfortable with myself , and if I do that, I can live with the results."


Injured Flyers Michael Raffl and Michal Neuvirth practiced on one side of the rink while the regulars practiced on the other side. GM Ron Hextall said that Neuvirth isn't expected to be ready to play until early December, and that Raffl might be ready late next week.