The Flyers announced Friday that Brian Elliott, their 33-year-old goaltender who is coming off a season that included surgeries to his hip and his core muscles, would miss the next two weeks with what the team described as a lower body injury.
Elliott crouched in pain after attempting to push off laterally during Kyle Palmieri's wraparound goal with a little over six minutes left in the third period of Thursday's 3-0 loss to the Devils. He left the ice immediately and was replaced by Cal Pickard.
"It was worse than I expected," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said after an optional practice at SkateZone in Voorhees Friday afternoon. "But that's the way it is."
Elliott has arguably been the best and most consistent Flyer of late, backstopping their rebound from a 4-7 start, excelling even in this week's two narrow defeats to Florida and New Jersey. The Flyers scored a total of one goal in those two games.
Friday's practice included Alex Lyon, who said he received the call to come to Philadelphia shortly after the end of Thursday night's game. Lyon, who was himself injured at the onset of this season, is likely to back up Pickard when the Flyers host the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Saturday matinee at the Wells Fargo Center.
Pickard, 26, has started five games and played in seven since the Flyers claimed him off waivers from Toronto the last time both Elliott and oft-injured backup Michal Neuvirth were on the shelf. He is 3-1-1 with the Flyers with a 4.42 goals against average and a .865 save percentage.
It is the second time already that Lyon, who was re-signed to a two-year deal over the summer, has been recalled. He is 2-2-0 with a 3.54 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage with the Phantoms this season.
"It comes with being a pro, but the older I get, the more I know what makes me tick," said Lyon, who is 25. "There are four or five things that I really rely on as pillars of my game. And if I identify them…
"The more tools you can put in your tool belt, the more valuable a commodity you are. I understand that as a [undrafted] free agent, it's going to take me time and I'm going to have to work my way up. So the more tools Alex Lyon can provide to an NHL organization, the more they need him. That's a reality in any business or any facet of life."
Hextall said that Neuvirth, who skated for the first time after his latest lower body injury, may be ready to return within the two-week time frame given for Elliott's recovery.
"We'll roll with the best that's out there," he said, "whether it's what we have or something else. Same as always. We're always looking to upgrade our team if we can. We picked Calvin up because we believed in him. But we also believed that Alex is pretty close. They're going to have a chance here and we'll see where it goes.
"You look around the league right now, there's a lot of injuries. We feel like we have depth that can help us out and right now we need them to help us out."