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Alex Lyon returns as injuries leave Flyers short on goalie experience

Lyon will remain with the Flyers until Brian Elliott is healthy enough to play. Elliott was injured at practice Sunday in Arizona.

The Flyers recalled goalie Alex Lyon from the AHL's Phantoms on Monday and he served as Cal Pickard's backup in Arizona.
The Flyers recalled goalie Alex Lyon from the AHL's Phantoms on Monday and he served as Cal Pickard's backup in Arizona.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK

GLENDALE, Ariz. – All of a sudden, the Flyers are short on experienced goaltenders.

Veterans Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth are both sidelined with injuries, so the Flyers recalled Alex Lyon from the AHL's Phantoms on Monday.

Elliott was injured when he collided with teammate Travis Konency at practice Sunday at the Gila River Arena. He was unable to play against the Coyotes on Monday, and the severity of his injury will not be known until he is examined when the team returns home Tuesday, general manager Ron Hextall said.

Hextall sounded optimistic that Elliott wouldn't miss much time.

"I don't think he'll be out long-term," Hextall said before Monday's game.

The 33-year-old goaltender held his head as he left the ice Sunday. Hextall would not comment when asked if a concussion could be ruled out.

Neuvirth, who had surgery to both hips in the off-season, is apparently bothered by a groin injury. He was placed on the injured-reserve list Monday.

Against Arizona, Lyon was Calvin Pickard's backup. Pickard got his second straight start.

Pickard (92 games) and Lyon (11) have a combined 103 games in the NHL. Elliott (424) and Neuvirth (251) have played a combined 675 games.

Lyon, 25, played in three games with the Phantoms this season and compiled a 2.68 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. He went 4-2-1 with a 2.75 GAA and .905 save percentage in 11 games with the Flyers last season.

"Alex is a competitor. He's a pro," coach Dave Hakstol said. "I think at this time last year, we talked about how much he continually improves his game…He's gotten himself off to a good start, albeit a short sample size this year coming off the injury. But he's picked up right where he left off last year and has done a good job. I know he's excited to be here, and I know he'll help us when called upon."

Phantoms goalie Carter Hart, meanwhile, is going through the typical growing pains of a rookie. In six games, he has a 3.77 GAA and .882 save percentage.

"He's going to be fine," Hextall said. "He's a young guy; he's 20 years old. Has he played his best? No. But it's his first year as a pro, first year on his own. It's not easy. It's not just about playing hockey. It's a whole lifestyle, living on another coast. He's transitioning."


Hextall estimated that James van Riemsdyyk (knee) was 10 to 14 days away from returning to the lineup. … The Flyers are not interested in bringing back free-agent goalie Steve Mason, Hextall said….The Flyers had the same lineup of skaters Monday that they used for all four games on the road trip…..The Flyers and Coyotes will again meet in their next game, Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center….Wayne Simmonds entered the night needing six goals to reach the 200 mark with the Flyers.