The Flyers had an optional practice on Sunday but goalie Michal Neuvirth couldn't wait to be on the ice. Neuvirth had been out since he suffered an upper body injury Wednesday, late in the first period of a 5-4 overtime win at Boston.

As Patrice Bergeron scored Boston's second goal, his stick accidentally hit Neuvirth in the mask. Neuvirth remained in the game but was replaced by Steve Mason to begin the second period.

Neuvirth was able to practice on Friday. He was placed on injured reserve Saturday and the Flyers recalled Jason LaBarbera from the Phantoms to be Mason's backup in their 3-2 shootout win over the New York Rangers.

According to the Flyers, Neuvirth would be eligible to return Thursday for the game at the Wells Fargo Center against the New Jersey Devils.

When asked if he felt better Sunday than Friday, Neuvirth responded, "Yes. Today I felt good and this was a really good skate for me."

Neuvirth has given the Flyers (4-2-1) a real boost. He had back-to-back shutouts, by 1-0 over the Florida Panthers and by 3-0 over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Other injuries

The Flyers listed Neuvirth, left wing Michael Raffl and center Sean Couturier as day-to-day with upper body injuries. Raffl and Couturier were not at the optional skate.

Early in the second period Saturday, Raffl collapsed on the bench and had to be helped to the locker room.

The Flyers called it an upper body injury but would not say whether it was a concussion. On the shift before he left the bench, Raffl inadvertently skated into the left elbow of Rangers forward Jarret Stoll. He appeared to be hit in the head.

After the game Saturday, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said Raffl was "fine."

Couturier has been out since he was leveled into the boards by ex-Flyer Zac Rinaldo Wednesday in Boston.

Gudas's hit

After the game Saturday, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault criticized the officials for not calling a penalty on Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas against Viktor Stalberg in the second period that knocked the Rangers forward out of the game. (He was also out for the game with Calgary on Sunday.)

"For me the principle point of attack was the head," Vigneault told reporters. "Hopefully Viktor will be fine soon. Obviously he's going to be out [Sunday] and we will see what the league does."

Gudas said he had not heard from the NHL. On the play, Stalberg had his head down and Gudas hit him in the shoulder and head with his check.

"I don't think it was anything worth consideration [of a suspension])," Gudas said Sunday. ". . . I didn't think it was anything dirty, either. He had his head down."

mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard