Injury-riddled Flyers set to host Canadiens

NHL Hockey
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The Philadelphia Flyers continue to be hampered by key injuries as they prepare to host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Second-year goaltender Carter Hart will miss the next two to three weeks with a lower right abdominal strain. As a result, Alex Lyon was recalled Wednesday from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to serve as Brian Elliott’s backup.

Hart, 21, sustained the injury during practice on Tuesday.

“We’ll take it one game at a time, and Brian is going to get a chance to play,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. “And I’m very confident he’s going to play well and the team is going to play well.”

It’s possible that Lyon could start against the Canadiens since Elliott got the nod Wednesday in a 4-3 overtime road win over the St. Louis Blues.

“I feel good about Alex,” Vigneault said. “I got to know him during training camp. I like the way he played for us. He just got off a shutout, and I saw part of it. If we need him, I know he’s going to be ready.”

The Flyers are already without defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (knee surgery) and forward Nolan Patrick (migraines), among others.

Elliott stopped 30 shots on Wednesday, and the Flyers stunned the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues on Jakub Voracek’s game-winning goal with 1:27 remaining in overtime. Travis Konecny, Michael Raffl and Tyler Pitlick also scored for Philadelphia.

The Flyers rallied for a 6-5 shootout win over the Boston Bruins on Monday, so even without Hart, the team will be looking for a third consecutive win when it plays the Canadiens.

If it’s Lyon who is called upon, he says he will be prepared.

“I’ve gotten a lot better at staying ready for an opportunity,” Lyon told “I feel like I’ve been on top of my game for most of the year.”

The skidding Canadiens, who have dropped nine of their past 11, going 2-8-1 in this stretch, fell 4-1 to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

Phillip Danault scored the lone goal for Montreal, which has managed only 16 goals in its past nine games.

Goaltender Charlie Lindgren made 24 saves in defeat, and he has still not won this season (0-3-0). Carey Price is expected to start against the Flyers.

Ironically, the Canadiens have been a better team on the road (11-9-3) than at home (9-12-4).

Their style of play has been grittier on the road, which is promising as they face the Flyers. It’s also a trend they’d like to alter as the season continues.

“Coming into our building as a road team — I’ve been on the other side — it’s pretty easy to get up for it,” center Nate Thompson told the Montreal Gazette. “I know it’s no excuse. But I think we have to do a better job of kind of playing that road-style game. Not worry about being flashy or showing off but just get the job done.”

Brendan Gallagher missed his third straight game against Chicago with a concussion, and it wasn’t immediately known if he would be available on Thursday.

One bright spot for the Canadiens has been their effective penalty kill, stopping 25 of the past 28.

“I think the guys have gotten more comfortable, clarity in certain things, confidence,” coach Claude Julien said.

–Field Level Media

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