PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Petr Mrazek is going from being a backup goaltender on a losing team to a starting job for a playoff contender.
The Philadelphia Flyers acquired Mrazek from the Detroit Red Wings for two conditional draft picks on Monday night, a day after losing their second goalie to injury in less than 10 days.
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall made the move after backup Michal Neuvirth was injured in Sunday’s win at the New York Rangers. Hextall said late Monday night that Neuvirth will miss several weeks. Starter Brian Elliott had core muscle surgery last Tuesday and is expected to miss up to 6 weeks.
“We’re excited to have obtained Petr Mrazek,” Hextall said. “Petr is a proven NHL goaltender, and given the situation we’re in, we needed a proven goaltender and we got one.”
The surprising Flyers are tied for third place in the Metropolitan Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings have the fourth-fewest point total in the East and are looking to move more players before next week’s trade deadline.
Mrazek was 8-7-3 with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage this season for Detroit while playing behind Jimmy Howard. He’s 72-58-20 with a 2.60 GAA and a .912 save percentage in 166 appearances in six seasons for the Red Wings.
Mrazek had his best season two years ago, going 27-16-6 with a 2.33 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He’s 4-6 in 10 career playoff starts with a 1.88 GAA and a .931 save percentage.
“We know how capable he is, and his experience in the NHL, playing in a high-pressure market in Detroit, went into our decision,” Hextall said. “We felt like we had to get a guy that has a proven track record.”
The Flyers sent a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2018 and a conditional third-round draft pick in 2019 to Detroit.
The first pick becomes a third if the Flyers make the playoffs and Mrazek wins five games in the regular season. That same pick can move to a second if Philadelphia wins two rounds of the playoffs and Mrazek wins six games. The additional third-rounder goes to Detroit in 2019 if Flyers re-sign him. Mrazek is set to become a restricted free agent after this season.
Alex Lyon made 25 saves in relief to earn his first career win after replacing Neuvirth against the Rangers. Lyon passed up his senior season at Yale to sign with the Flyers in April 2016. He played in 47 games for the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season and 26 more this season. He’s 1-1 in four appearances for Philadelphia.
The Flyers also activated goaltender Anthony Stolarz and sent him to the minors before making the move. Stolarz hasn’t played this season following surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee in September.
“We’re in a tough situation — you lose your top two goalies when you’re fighting for a playoff spot, and our players have worked hard for a long time now, and I didn’t feel like it was fair to not have a proven NHL goaltender for this team,” Hextall said.
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