OTTAWA - Nick Cousins brought his mother to tears of joy.
After he played for the AHL's Phantoms on Saturday night, the 5-foot-11, 188-pound center phoned his parents and told them the good news: He had been recalled by the Flyers.
"It was crazy. I usually call them after every game and talk about the game," he said on Sunday. "I called them and I think they were even more excited than I was. I think my mom was even crying."
Cousins, the AHL's fifth-leading scorer with 55 points, was recalled because winger R.J. Umberger is out for the season with several injuries. Cousins was scratched from Sunday night's game in Ottawa but may play at some point during the four-game road trip that also has stops in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.
"I'm excited for the opportunity; hopefully, I make the most of it," said Cousins, 21, whose parents made a 21/2-hour drive from his hometown of Belleville, Ontario, to attend Sunday's game at the Canadian Tire Centre. "We'll see what happens."
Coach Craig Berube called Cousins "a centerman who can make plays; he can kind of do a couple different things out there. He gets in there and is a gritty little player, but he's also got the playmaking ability."
Cousins, whose 21 goals and 34 assists led the Phantoms, has been on a scoring surge the last two-plus months.
"I think it's just confidence," he said. "When I pop in with the puck, I know I can make plays, and I've been fortunate enough to play with two really good players" - linemates Jason Akeson and Andrew Gordon.
Cousins was selected in the third round of the 2011 draft with a pick that was acquired as part of the deal that sent Jeff Carter to Columbus. In August 2012, he and two Sault Ste. Marie teammates were charged with sexually assaulting a woman. The charges were dropped six months later.
After starting eight straight games and playing in the last nine, goalie Steve Mason served as Ray Emery's backup Sunday.
"Mase is due for a break," Berube said. "We're playing back-to-back games, and he's played a lot of hockey. Ray is good and ready to go."