Flyers' Neuvirth, Mason pushing each other; Nick Cousins' scare
NEWARK, N.J. - Flyers coach Dave Hakstol has a luxury - two goalies who are excelling.
Steve Mason has steadied himself after a difficult start and has allowed a total of four goals in his last three starts, and backup Michal Neuvirth has been terrific all season.
Neuvirth, who will start against the Devils in Newark on Friday night, has a .939 save percentage, tops in the NHL among goalies who have been in at least 10 games.
Hakstol said Mason's awful career record against the Devils - 0-7 with a 3.70 goals-against average and .861 save percentage - was "not a big factor" in naming Neuvirth as Friday's starter.
"Neuvy's coming off a real good performance against Nashville," Hakstol said after Friday's morning skate here, referring to a 3-2 overtime win a week ago. "We have two guys who are going pretty good. This is Neuvy's game and he'll go out and do a good job for us again tonight."
Neuvirth (5-3-1, 2.05 GAA) has excellent career numbers against the Devils: a 4-2-4 record with a 1.94 GAA and .933 save percentage.
Having two strong goalies keeps them both fresh because no one has to play an overly long stretch. "And both guys being able to push each other a little bit I think is healthy," Hakstol said.
Mason started the Flyers' 4-1 loss (includes an empty-net goal) to the Devils on Oct. 29, allowing a pair of power-play goals.
The Flyers are looking for their first four-game winning streak since January, and they will oppose Cory Schneider, who is 11-7-2 with a 2.03 GAA and .927 save percentage.
Cousins' scare. Center Nick Cousins was injured when a Shayne Gostisbehere blast hit his visor and left a cut above his right eye during Friday's morning skate. The cut was glued, and Cousins returned to the ice and he should play Friday night, centering Scott Laughton and Colin McDonald.
Simmonds' streak. Hakstol on right winger Wayne Simmonds, who has five points over his last two games: "He's doing the little things the right way - and doing things consistently. And then when you see some of the extra-effort plays he's making, that's leadership."
Breakaways. The Flyers (10-10-5) have been outscored, 22-11, in the first period ... The Devils (13-10-2), who will be playing their second game in as many nights, are coming off Thursday's 5-1 win in Carolina ... Adam Henrique (12 goals) and Mike Cammalleri (26 points) lead the Devils ... Claude Giroux tops the Flyers in goals (8) and points (20). Giroux is second in the NHL with a 59.5 percent rate on faceoffs ... The Flyers have killed 21 straight penalties, their longest since killing 26 in a row, a streak that ended in January of 2014 ... Radko Gudas will miss the first game of a three-game suspension. He is third in the NHL with 118 hits. As a team, the Flyers are second in the NHL with 762 hits.