Flyers goalies will divide starts vs. Rangers; Couturier excited about Giroux experiment

Islanders Flyers Hockey
Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth in action in a preseason game against the Islanders last week.

Veteran goalies Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott have looked sharp in the Flyers’ training camp, and they will split the next two preseason games against the New York Rangers.

Neuvirth is slated will play the entire game Monday night in Madison Square Garden, and Elliott is scheduled to go the distance Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Both have played just two periods in the preseason. Elliott stopped all 18 shots he faced against Boston, and Neuvirth turned aside 16 of 17 in a split-squad game against the Islanders, allowing a goal in a five-on-three situation in which he had no reasonable chance to make a save.

“The goaltending has been very good; it’s what you want to see — guys working hard to build their games,” coach Dave Hakstol said after Monday’s morning skate in Voorhees.

For the most part, the goalies will share duties this season, though Hakstol said he will reward a goaltender if he is in a groove.

Lineup set

The Flyers have set their lineup for Monday’s game in New York.

The lines:

— Sean Couturier centering Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.
— Nolan Patrick centering Jordan Weal and Wayne Simmonds.
— Val Filpuula centering Travis Konecny and Jori Lehtera.
— Scott Laughton centering Michael Raffl and Matt Read. (Hakstol has been enamored with this unit throughout camp.)
— Defense: Ivan Provorov and Robert Hagg; Radko Gudas and Travis Sanheim; and Shayne Gostisbehere and Brandon Manning.
— Goalie: Neuvirth.
— Scratched players: Oskar Lindblom, Mike Vecchione, Sam Morin, Taylor Leier, Dale Weise, and Andrew MacDonald.

Many of the scratched players are still trying to make the team, and Hakstol hinted that most (if not all) of them will play Tuesday.

New line excites Couturier

Couturier is eager to play alongside Giroux and Voracek. He has been Voracek’s linemate in the past, but has never been on a regular line with Giroux. “We’ve had an odd shift together here and there late in the period where we needed a faceoff or something,” he said. “I’m happy to get that opportunity with him. We seem to always create something out of nothing the little time we’ve been together, so hopefully we can make it work.”

Voracek and Giroux “can bring a lot to my game, and I think I can bring something to that line,” Couturier said.

Giroux’s five-on-five play figures to improve if he is on Couturier’s line this season.

Couturier is lefthanded and Giroux is righthanded, so “you get the puck at different times” because of the way they have to maneuver for space, Voracek said. “Both guys bring different elements. G is one of the smartest players in the league, and Coots is always in the right position, so I don’t think I really have to adjust my game. I can play my game and I know the puck is going to come to my stick. I’m excited to see what we’re going to do tonight with both on our line.”

Another ‘Radko’

Berlin Borough police officer Steve Palma and his K9 partner, Radko — named after the Flyers’ Gudas — will visit with the defenseman after Wednesday’s practice in Voorhees.

The dog is the first K9 in the history of the town’s police department.

Both the dog and the player are from the Czech Republic.

Both have snarl, Palma half-kidded.