Goalie nods: Surging Flyers start Neuvirth for first time in nearly two weeks

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The last time Michal Neuvirth played, the result wasn’t good — an ugly 4-0 home loss to the lowly Oilers, in which Neuvirth surrendered all four goals on 31 shots.

That happened on Mar. 3.

Now, 13 days later, Neuvirth is back in goal, under entirely different circumstances. Heading into tonight’s big game against the ‘Hawks, the playoff-charging Flyers have won four of five and collected nine of a possible 10 points — with Steve Mason as the starting netminder.

But since Mason beat the Red Wings last night and has started five straight, it’s Neuvy time.

Overall, the 27-year-old has enjoyed a solid first campaign in Philadelphia. Neuvirth is 16-8-4 on the year with a .925 save percentage and 2.29 GAA, and three shutouts. He’s been effective when called upon to carry a significant load — that aforementioned loss to the Oilers was Neuvirth’s eighth consecutive appearance — but has taken a back seat in March, as head coach Dave Hakstol has opted to ride Mason’s hot hand.

For Chicago, the struggling Corey Crawford gets a night off. Scott Darling will be in goal.


— After Mike Condon started three straight, including last night’s loss to Florida, Ben Scrivens is in goal for Montreal. The Sabres will counter with Robin Lehner.

— Good matchup in Edmonton tonight as Jake Allen and the Blues take on Cam Talbot and the Oilers.

Ondrej Pavelec goes for the Jets, who are in Calgary. Joni Ortio counters for the Flames.

— Vancouver continues to alternate starts between Jacob Markstrom and Ryan Miller. The former lost to the Jets on Tuesday, the latter will start tonight. For visiting Colorado, Semyon Varlamov is in net.

— Henrik Lunqdvist gets the night off as Antti Raanta starts for the Rangers in Anaheim. John Gibson goes for the Ducks.

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