ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Flyers loaned goaltender Brian Elliott to Lehigh Valley on Tuesday to begin a long-anticipated conditioning stint.

The Phantoms play three games this weekend – against Bridgeport on Friday night, and a home-and-home matchup with the Hershey Bears on Saturday and Sunday.

Elliott is on a "long-term’’ injury loan, which allows the Flyers to keep a roster spot free. Under those terms, he is allowed to remain with the Phantoms for six days or three games, whichever comes first, as he technically remains on injured reserve during the stint.

Elliott, 33, who is an unrestricted free agent after this season, has not played in a game for the Flyers since a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 15. He underwent two core muscle/hip/groin surgeries last season – one in February, and later, once the season concluded.

He played in 14 games for the Flyers this season before being placed on injured reserve with what has been described by the team as a lower-body injury. He was 6-7-0 in those games, with a 2.59 goals against average and a 0.911 save percentage.

In parts of two seasons with the club (57 games), Elliott owns a 29-18-7 record with a 2.65 goals against average and a 0.909 save percentage.

The Flyers also recalled backup Mike McKenna from his conditioning loan to Lehigh Valley. Acquired off waivers from Vancouver on Jan. 4, McKenna, 35, played in one game for the Flyers this season, a 5-3 loss in Washington on Jan. 8. He appeared in 10 games with the Ottawa Senators before that, compiling a 1-4-1 record with a 3.96 goals against average and 0.897 save percentage.

McKenna had a 2-1 record in three games for the Phantoms. Barring further injury to any healthy goaltender at the NHL or AHL level, he is likely to be put on waivers when Elliott comes off IR, but could return to the Phantoms should he clear them.

Breakaways

Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin received a one-game suspension from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for his high stick of Michael Raffl late in Monday’s game. Malkin received a 5-minute match penalty for the infraction. ... Joe Mauer, the longtime Minnesota Twin who retired after last season, was honored in pregame ceremonies. ... After two games in two nights and two flights, the Flyers have Wednesday off. They play a home-and-home series this weekend against Detroit – a matinee at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday and in Detroit on Sunday.