LAS VEGAS — Just 24 hours after making making history, in part, by not playing a single second of regulation during his team’s win, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth got even more of a workout in 60 minutes of playing time on Sunday against the Western Conference’s best team.
What resulted in these past two games were two wins for the surging Flyers. Neuvirth stopped 38 of 39 shots while Sean Couturier lead the offense with a goal and two assists as Philadelphia won its fourth straight game by defeating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday evening.
Neuvirth’s week could have already been deemed a successful one after his heroics in Saturday night’s 4-3 shootout win over the Arizona Coyotes, making five shootout saves after replacing regular starter Brian Elliott after he suffered a lower body injury at the start of the shootout to become the first goaltender in league history to come in during the middle of a shootout and record a win. Tonight, the Golden Knights’ offense sent wave after wave of pressure on Neuvirth’s crease, but he stood tall in recording his seventh win of the season.
“It was huge coming off the bench yesterday and shutting the door,” Neuvirth said. “It gave me a lot of confidence coming into this game. Back-to-back wins, with our tough schedule, it’s huge for us.”
Neuvirth did give up the first goal of the game, to Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb, at the 11:22 mark of the first period, but shut out the Golden Knights from there on out. Couturier tallied for the Flyers with 2:10 remaining in the first to send the teams into the first intermission deadlocked at 1-1.
Couturier provided the primary assists for both goals in the second period, including the game-winning goal by an unsuspecting Andrew McDonald that was meant to be a one-time shot on goal off a feed from Travis Konecny. Couturier’s shot was going way to the left of goal, but the puck then ricocheted off MacDonald’s left skate and past Vegas goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury at 17:08 mark of the second period. With less than six seconds remaining in the period, Couturier stormed down the right wing and forced Fleury to make a save, but the rebound came out in front and Claude Giroux pounced to score his 18th goal of the season for a 3-1 Flyers lead.
Defenseman Radko Gudas added his first goal of the season late in the third to round out the scoring.
The loss by the Golden Knights was their second consecutive defeat at home following their defeat on Jan. 25 against the New York Islanders, marking the first time this season that Vegas has lost consecutive home games. Between those losses, Vegas was on a six-game road trip, winning four of the six contests.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline and story is the photo gallery from Sunday evening’s game, with all photos taken by Las Vegas-based photographer Mindy Small. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 19 pictures in total.