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Back-to-back shutouts for Neuvirth


PHILADELPHIA—Claude Giroux summed up what all of Philadelphia loves the most about Michal Neuvirth.

“That he doesn’t let any goals in,” Giroux said.

Just ask Florida and Chicago.

Neuvirth stopped 30 shots in his second-straight shutout, leading the Flyers to a 3-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last night.

Giroux, Sam Gagner, and Matt Read scored to lead the Flyers to their 12th-straight regular-season home victory over Chicago.

The Flyers have not lost to the Blackhawks in Philly during the regular season since Nov. 9, 1996.

The Blackhawks beat the Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final—and clinched with a Game 6 win in Philly.

Filling in for Steve Mason, Neuvirth was sensational in his ninth career shutout.

Mason missed a second-straight game because of unspecified family reasons and there was no word when he would return.

He won’t have to rush back—Neuvirth now has a shutout streak of 132 minutes, five seconds that dates to the third period of a 7-1 loss at Florida when he relieved Mason.

Neuvirth had 31 saves in a 1-0 win over Florida on Monday for his first shutout since 2012.

“The more I play, the better I feel and the more confident I get,” he said.

The Flyers rolled out the black carpet for former defenceman Kimmo Timonen, a five-time Olympian, during a pre-game tribute and both teams stayed on the ice in celebration.

Timonen was traded to the Blackhawks last season and retired following their Stanley Cup championship run.

Timonen then stuck around to watch the Flyers storm past the Blackhawks.

Gagner scored his first goal of the season when he beat Corey Crawford on the power play.

Gagner, whom the Flyers acquired in the off-season from Arizona, had been irked because he was a healthy scratch the first two games of the season.

Gagner rebounded with an assist in the Flyers’ 1-0 win over Florida on Monday, then snapped one over Crawford’s shoulder in this one to prove his worth.

“I just wanted to get the puck past their first man. That’s all you can do,” said Gagner.

“Guys are so good at blocking shots now days, you just have to get it by their first man and let the guys in front do their jobs.”

Giroux later punched in a rebound for his first goal of the season in his 500th career NHL game.

Read scored his second goal of the season in the final minutes to secure the win.

Neuvirth wrapped up the win with a 15-save third period.

Jeff Hackett, in 2003, was the only other Flyers’ goalie with shutouts in his first two starts.

“I was relaxed, I just had fun and I trusted myself,” Neuvirth said.

Crawford made 26 saves.

“There’s some chances that we had, some open nets that could have changed the game that trickled away or got away from us,” he noted.

“It wasn’t our best game,” he said.

Elsewhere in the NHL, Ottawa dumped Columbus 7-3, Boston beat Colorado 6-2, and Arizona blanked Anaheim 4-0.

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