By Mary Cunningham

The Flyers will have to make their playoffs push without top goalie Brian Elliott, who will miss six weeks with a core muscle injury that required surgery.

Formerly known as a sports hernia, the injury often requires much more time for rehab than initially suspected, which means he is probably out for the season.

“Brian Elliott had successful core muscle surgery this morning,” general manager Ron Hextall said yesterday.

The 32-year-old was injured Saturday against the Coyotes. He played through regulation and overtime and even faced two skaters in the shootout before leaving.

The Flyers are a surprising third in the Metropolitan Division, and sixth in the Eastern Conference despite a 10-game losing streak earlier in the season. Since that streak ended, Elliott is 15-5-1 with a 2.51 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

In 41 games this season, Elliott has posted a 21-11-7 mark with a 2.72 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.

The Flyers now turn to Michal Neuvirth in net. The 29-year-old is 14-7-7 with a 2.50 GAA and .917 save percentage. The team also called up Alex Lyon from the AHL.

Hextall was noncommittal as to whether he would pursue a replacement for Elliott before the Feb. 26 trade deadline.