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Flyers again turn to goalie Michal Neuvirth

DALLAS - For the first time this season, the same Flyers goalie started on consecutive nights.

DALLAS - For the first time this season, the same Flyers goalie started on consecutive nights.

That goalie was Michal Neuvirth, who faced high-scoring Dallas on Friday after recording a 4-2 win in St. Louis the previous night.

Neuvirth, the supposed backup, has been sharper than Steve Mason for most of the season, especially in the recent games.

"I don't want to compare, I guess, but Neuvy has been sharp," coach Dave Hakstol said before the game

Hakstol said it's important to reward a goalie when he is playing well.

"I don't think we decide on our starts by whose turn it is," Hakstol said. "It's a competitive-based business. And absolutely it is important to reward" quality performances.

Entering Friday, Neuvirth (7-3-2) led the league with a .938 save percentage and was tied for third in goals-against average (1.99).

Mason is 5-8-4 with a 2.93 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.

Gudas shines

Radko Gudas didn't skip a beat.

Returning to the lineup after a three-game suspension for an illegal hit, the Flyers' rugged defenseman had seven hits, three blocked shots and a plus-4 rating - equaling the best if his career Thursday in St. Louis.

"Typical Gudie-type game," Hakstol said. "He played solid; he had five, six, seven hard hits."

Gudas, who was reunited with defense partner Michael Del Zotto (plus-2), also had five shots, including four on goal.

The three-game layoff, though unwanted, energized the Czech Republic native.

"I was excited. I was ready to go. My body was rested, so I felt good out there," Gudas said after the Flyers' fourth straight road victory.

Mason said Gudas may have the team's hardest shot.

"There are a couple of guys who have hard shots, too, but if the goalie said that, I cannot disagree with it," Gudas said with a smile.


Entering Friday, Claude Giroux had 14 points in his last nine games - and eight goals and 22 points in his last 19 games. . . . In the win over St. Louis, Wayne Simmonds notched his 100th assist as a Flyer and his 300th career point.. . . Defenseman Mark Alt is plus-16 and opening eyes with the Phantoms. . . .The Flyers' next two games are at home against Carolina on Tuesday and Vancouver on Thursday.