Five observations from Flyers' win over Panthers

861980_529a94fa21c1023-1
Shayne Gostisbehere and Wayne Simmonds have words with the Panthers’ Derek MacKenzie for pushing goalie Michal Neuvirth down while Claude Giroux was busy scoring at the other end of the rink Tuesday.

Some takeaways from the Flyers’ 5-1 victory over Florida on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center:

1. The Flyers (4-2) did a lot of good things Tuesday, but their satisfaction was tempered a bit by Wayne Simmonds’ unspecified lower-body injury. More will be known Wednesday about the severity of the injury. The star right winger played five third-period shifts totaling 3 minutes and 14 seconds before heading to the locker room.

2. It’s early, but in the preseason and his two regular-season starts, Michal Neuvirth has resembled the goalie who had a career year in 2015-16.  Playing his first game in 12 nights, he shook off some early rust Tuesday and finished with 40 saves, showing great post-to-post  quickness. If he stays healthy, he looks poised for an impressive comeback season.

3. Truth be told, most of us didn’t think putting center Sean Couturier on the top line would  last too long because he doesn’t have a lot of speed. But so far, he has been the perfect complement to Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek — offensively and defensively. Kudos to coach Dave Hakstol for thinking outside the box and moving Giroux to left wing. Couturier, who shares the league lead with a plus-9 rating, gave the Flyers a lead they did not relinquish Tuesday.

4. Robert Hagg, a defenseman who was plus-3 on Tuesday, is a 22-year-old rookie, but he plays as if he has been in the league three or four years. He is smart and unflappable, and his reliable defense enables his partner, Shayne Gostisbehere, to gamble on offense, as he did on his second-period goal against the Panthers. Which leads us to …

5. Gostisbehere is playing better than he did in his superb rookie year in 2015-16 — his offensive creativity is back, and his defense has improved. Gostisbehere had a goal and an assist Tuesday and has 10 points (in six games), most among NHL defensemen.