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Round 1

Elliott likely to start Game 2 for Flyers against Penguins

Goalie gets support from coach Hakstol, who says 'he's our guy'

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

PITTSBURGH -- Goalie Brian Elliott is expected to start Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round for the Philadelphia Flyers despite allowing five goals on 19 shots and getting pulled in the second period of a 7-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 on Wednesday.

"Right now, my first instinct is yeah," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said in his postgame press conference when asked if Elliott will start Game 2 of the best-of-7 series here Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, ATTSN-PT). "You know what, he's our guy. He's a huge reason why our team was able to put ourselves into a position to be in the playoffs. In terms of his presence in our dressing room and the trust that we all have in him, that's a pretty big factor.

"So, you know what, like everything else, we'll look hard at it, but right now my first gut instinct is that he's our guy and I don't see a reason why we would go away from him."

 

[RELATED: Crosby has hat trick in Game 1 win | Complete Penguins vs. Flyers coverage]

 

Elliott was relieved by Petr Mrazek after allowing the first goal in Penguins captain Sidney Crosby's natural hat trick at 9:01 of the second period. Mrazek made 12 saves on 14 shots.

"They kind of did everything that we focused on in the prescout, they just did it really well," Elliott said. "They beat us from pretty much every aspect tonight, starting from the net out. Everybody just has to be better."

Elliott missed 25 games from Feb. 11-April 3 because he had surgery on a core muscle injury. He won Philadelphia's final two regular-season games, making 36 saves on 39 shots to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers.

Hakstol said he felt Elliott was sharp enough in those games to feel confident putting him in for Game 1. He didn't think his long time off after the surgery had any impact on how he played in Game 1 either.

"You look at the five against, a couple lateral plays, one that we screened him on ourselves," Hakstol said. "It's a tough night. I left him in there after the first (period) after the fourth [goal] because I thought there was a lot of areas of his game where he was seeing the game, he was battling hard. You just want to give him the opportunity to battle through. Obviously, after the fifth one, I just wanted to get him out of there."

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