sports

Flyers want to 'emulate' Eagles; Brian Elliott returning to lineup

Sam Carchidi, STAFF WRITER

Updated: Monday, February 5, 2018, 1:49 PM

Goaltender Brian Elliott will return to the Flyers’ lineup Tuesday in Carolina. The Flyers went 0-3-1 while he was sidelined.

The Eagles have set the bar high for the city’s other pro sports teams, including the Flyers.

Most of the Flyers got together at the Vesper Sporting Club in Center City and watched the Eagles’ thrilling Super Bowl win Sunday night. They were inspired by the emotional victory.

“Just to see everyone celebrating and obviously the thoughts are ‘what if it was us?’ ” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said after practice Monday in Voorhees. “It’s great for the city … and obviously we want to emulate what happened and keep the party going.”

Center Scott Laughton said it was “really cool to see how electric the city was and how crazy it was” Sunday night.

“I think we got to see first-hand how the city reacts to a winning team,” winger Taylor Leier said. “They’re very passionate, and we want to follow suit to what the Eagles have done.”

“That’s something we have to work for,” coach Dave Hakstol said.

Goalie Brian “Moose” Elliott, who will return to the Flyers lineup Tuesday in Carolina, said the Eagles “created a buzz” and it “makes you think how cool it would be to do the same.” Earlier this year, he and Eagles kicker Jake Elliott (no relation) exchanged jerseys before a Flyers game.

“Knowing him just a little bit and exchanging some texts, it’s pretty cool that he’s just that calm type of presence and that perfect demeanor for a kicker,” Elliott said. “He got it done. All I texted him [Sunday] night was ‘Money’ [after] he hit that long one at the end of the game.”

Brian Elliott has missed the last four games with an undisclosed injury, but he said he felt fine after practicing with the team Monday.

“We had a good pace in practice, and it was good to get the wind back and see some good shots out there,” Elliott said.

The Flyers lost all four games that Elliott missed, and goalies Michal Neuvirth and Alex Lyon allowed 4.5 goals per contest. Lyon was sent back down to the Phantoms on Monday afternoon.

“It’s huge for us,” Gostisbehere said about getting Elliott back. “Neuvy and Lyon did their best for what they can do, and obviously having Moose back is going to bring our game up a level. Neuvy and Lyon did some good things for us, but Moose is ready.”

Gostisbehere said Elliott “has been making that big save every game and winning and stealing us games. That’s what you need, especially if you’re a playoff team. You’ve got to have that goaltender steal some games for you.”

Hakstol said the Flyers missed Elliott in many ways.

“He’s done a really good job on the ice, but he also has that presence in our dressing room,” Hakstol said. “He very quickly and quietly is one of the guys who controls the pulse of our team, and that’s an important presence for us to have back in the lineup.”

Hakstol is tinkering with his bottom two lines, switching wingers Leier and Michael Raffl.

Leier will go on the third line, which also includes Laughton and right winger Jordan Weal. Hakstol noted he liked the way that line played when it was together earlier in the season in Western Canada, helping the Flyers register wins in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

Raffl will shift from left wing to right wing and move to a veteran fourth line, one that includes Val Filppula and Jori Lehtera.

The Flyers, who entered Monday barely holding the second wild-card spot in the crowded Eastern Conference, will try to snap the four-game losing streak Tuesday. It will be the first of four meetings with the Hurricanes this season.

“They’re four-point games,” Gostisbehere said. “We know they’re right up on us in the standings.”

“They’re really good in their arena in the first period,” Laughton said. “I think that’s going to be really key for us. We have to have a big first period because they can jump on top of you in their building.”

The Flyers salvaged a point as they rallied for two late goals before losing in overtime to Ottawa on Saturday, 4-3.

Elliott likes the team’s position.

“I think we’re in a really good spot right now,” he said. “I think our destiny is in our hands.”

That sounds like something the Eagles had been saying before Sunday night’s epic victory.

Sam Carchidi, STAFF WRITER

Read full story: Flyers want to 'emulate' Eagles; Brian Elliott returning to lineup

More Coverage:

POLL: Which team will bounce back best from a rough recent stretch?

Get the latest Flyers news with the FREE Philly Sports Now app for iPhone and Android

SHOP: Buy all the best Flyers gear

Forum: Talk hockey all year