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Goalie Lyon staying with Flyers; Neuvirth returns

Mason starting Thursday, but rest of regular season to be determined

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Goaltender Alex Lyon will be with the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the regular season, general manager Ron Hextall said Thursday.

Lyon, 23, leads the NCAA with a 1.64 goals-against average in 31 games at Yale University this season. He was 19-8-4 with a .936 save percentage and five shutouts, and is a finalist for the 2016 Mike Richter Award, given to the best NCAA goaltender. He also was a finalist for the Richter Award last season.

Keeping Lyon on the roster will count as the first year of the two-year entry-level contract he signed April 5.

"There were a few teams after him," Hextall said. "There were teams that were willing to burn the year. It came down to whether we were able to burn the year. Did we want to get the player? Yes. Did we want to burn the year? Not particularly. But we were willing to do it to get the player. We like Alex. He's a good young goalie. He's talented, he's very composed. He's got good hockey sense. He's a good prospect for us. We're excited about having him. And you can never have enough goalies."

Video: PHI@CHI: Neuvirth keeps the game tied at 2

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth backed up Steve Mason against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday. Neuvirth had been out since March 16 because of a lower-body injury. He was expected to need three weeks to recover, and three weeks from his last game was Wednesday. In Neuvirth's absence, Mason made 11 straight starts. Neuvirth skated Monday for the first time since he was injured.

"Is he as sharp as he could be? Probably not," Hextall said. "Isn't enough shots. Physically he's OK, so it was a matter of him ramping it up. He ramped it up and quite honestly I'm surprised. Which is good though."

The Flyers reassigned goalie Anthony Stolarz to Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League. He was called up March 20 and was Mason's backup the past nine games. It leaves the Flyers with four goaltenders on the roster: Mason; Neuvirth; Lyon; and Ray Emery, who signed a one-year contract April 1.

Hextall said the goalies who play in the final three games of the regular season is up to coach Dave Hakstol. The Flyers play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday and the New York Islanders on Sunday.

"Whatever [Hakstol] thinks is the best option at that point," Hextall said. "Maybe it is [Neuvirth]. I don't know. [Mason] has played a lot of hockey, four in five nights. I don't know what direction [he's leaning]."

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