NEWARK, N.J. - Since being promoted from the Phantoms, Nick Cousins has centered an effective fourth line for the Flyers.
The Flyers entered Friday 3-0 since Cousins was recalled.
"He's a smart two-way center, and he's reliable in a lot of the little areas of the game," coach Dave Hakstol said before the Flyers played in New Jersey on Friday. "He's a young guy, but he's pretty mature as a centerman in terms of his positioning, both with and without the puck. I think that level of certainty adds value."
During Friday's morning skate, Cousins was hit by a Shayne Gostisbehere shot and suffered a cut above his right eye. He went to the locker room, had the cut glued together, and then returned to the ice.
Cousins was in Friday's lineup.
"It could have been a lot worse," Cousins said. "A little wake-up call, I guess."
Cousins' promotion from the AHL moved center Scott Laughton to left wing. Colin McDonald, another recent Phantoms promotee, has played right wing on that line.
"I enjoy playing with these two," Cousins said. "Laughts is sort of new on the wing, but I think he's done a good job, and Mac is a big body and he creates space for us. He's mean in front of the net, so he gives us a little bit of room."
Laughton had not been producing much at center, so Hakstol shifted him "just to change things up a little bit. I go back to when we did that, nothing was coming easily for Scotty, and some time just a little change, a little different look, is a good change for a player. I think it freed him up a little bit and he's been pretty good over the last three games."
Entering Friday, the line had produced a goal and three points and had an "even" plus/minus rating in its three games.
"They've been good; they add energy," Hakstol said.
Before Cousins was added, Laughton had no points in his last six games; he had two assists in his first two games with new linemates.
"It's an adjustment, but it's been good so far," Laughton said of his new position. "A few issues in the D zone, but definitely getting used to it."
The Flyers will host Columbus and ex-teammates Scott Hartnell (nine goals, 17 points entering Friday) and Sergei Bobrovsky (2.74 goals-against average) on Saturday night.