SUNRISE — When the season opened, there was no scenario in which the playoff hopes of the Florida Panthers relied on the play of Alex Lyon.
Sergei Bobrovsky? Sure.
Spencer Knight? Believable.
But Alex Lyon?
Many fans, instead, may have simply asked, ‘who?’
No one is asking that anymore, not since Lyon took over for Bobrovsky last week in Toronto and willed the Panthers to a 3-2 overtime win over the Maple Leafs.
Sam Reinhart may have tied the game in the final minute of regulation and Brandon Montour may have won it in overtime — but that win was all on Alex Lyon.
If the Panthers do make it to the playoffs, and they have five games left to try and do just that, they will owe a ton of gratitude to Lyon.
Of course, Florida is a long way from that. But, Lyon will start their game against Buffalo tonight, one which will have a big say whether the Panthers make it or not.
”This feels good,” he told Florida Hockey Now on Monday afternoon. “I owe it to the guys in here to play hard for them. And that is what drives me.