Flyers again sound Moose call; Jake Voracek on how revival started
Veteran goalie Brian Elliott made his 10th straight start Friday as the Flyers tried for their eighth win in their last nine games.
BUFFALO – Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott has a caricature of a moose on the back of his helmet because it's his nickname.
He is earning another nickname: Iron Man.
The 32-year-old goalie made his 10th straight start Friday in Buffalo, and it marked the 19th time in the last 20 games he was in the net. (Eighteen of them were as a starter.)
"He's been huge. We know what we're going to get out of him every night," center Scott Laughton said before the game. "He's been a big veteran presence for us on the ice, and a big veteran presence in our room."
Elliott, the NHL's No. 3 and No. 2 star in each of the last two weeks, started all six games in the Flyers' recent winning streak, which followed a 10-game winless skid.
"Even in those games we were losing, he kept us in games and gave us an opportunity to win," right winger Wayne Simmonds said. "If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be in this position."
The Flyers began the night three points out of a playoff spot.
Coach Dave Hakstol seemed dumbfounded when asked if he was worried about fatigue affecting Elliott.
"You monitor every player, every situation," he said. "You always make sure communication is good and monitor it like you do any other position."
In other words, Elliott felt fine to play.
"He's been real good for us; he's feeling good, he's feeling strong, and there's no reason we wouldn't go back with him," Hakstol said.
The third-year coach said he hadn't decided which goalie he would play Saturday in Columbus, but it wouldn't be surprising if Elliott got the call. Despite denials, Hakstol doesn't have confidence at this point in Alex Lyon, who has yet to make his NHL debut.
Michal Neuvirth, rehabbing from an injury, is on the road trip but probably won't be ready to play Saturday, general manager Ron Hextall said.
Neuvirth said he feels ready but hasn't been cleared by the medical staff.
Asked by an NHL.com reporter how the Flyers rebounded from their 10-game funk, right winger Jake Voracek was his candid self. He said the players went out to dinner at the start of their Western Canada trip and "got drunk" and had some "heart to hearts."
Voracek began the night fifth in the NHL with 42 points.
Taylor Leier missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury and was again replaced by Jori Lehtera. … Claude Giroux needs one game to pass Simon Gagne for 10th on the Flyers' all-time list. … Hakstol, 49, will coach his 200th NHL game Saturday in Columbus. He entered Friday with a 95-72-31 record.