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Flyers' Michal Neuvirth awake and alert after collapsing to ice

PHILADELPHIA -- Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirthwas awake and alert and was taken to Pennsylvania Hospital after collapsing in his crease early in Saturday night's game against the New Jersey Devils, general manager Ron Hextall said.

Neuvirth, 29, was awaiting a faceoff at the far end of the ice about seven-and-a-half minutes into the game when he fell backward and landed on his back. Flyers athletic trainer Jim McCrossin quickly ran onto the ice to attend to him and was joined by three other team doctors.

Neuvirth appeared to be unconscious for a brief time, but he began moving his arms and legs and sat up in his crease before being placed on a stretcher and carted off the ice.

"We sent him to the hospital for precautionary reasons, and everything so far has been good,'' Hextall said, adding that Neuvirth will not make the team's trip to New York for Sunday night's game against the Rangers.

Neuvirth was making his 28th appearance of the season and first since March 25. He stopped six shots before the incident and did not appear to have any unusual contact in the crease prior to his collapse. The Flyers were leading 1-0 at the time.

"It's obviously pretty scary when you see your goaltender just collapse like that,'' Flyers left wing Chris VandeVelde said. "I'm not sure really what happened, if he fainted or got lightheaded or what, but it was pretty scary, and I'm glad to see he was moving and functioning when he was rolled off the ice.''

Neuvirthwas replaced in goal by Anthony Stolarz, who was called up from Lehigh Valley of the AHL earlier in the day when starting goalie Steve Mason was ill. Stolarz did not arrive at the Wells Fargo Center until just before the start and did not take warm-ups before the game.

It didn't seem to matter, ashe stopped 26 shots to earn his second shutout in the Flyers' 3-0 win.

"I never experienced anything like that,'' Stolarz said after the game. "It was a whirlwind of emotions, and I'm glad Neuvy's OK and we were able to get a win for him.''

After Neuvirth went down, the emergency goalie was Eric Semborski, a Temple graduate and the hockey director at the North East Skate Zone in Philadelphia. Flyers coach Dave Hakstol tried getting Semborski, watching the game from the Flyers locker room, into the game with 24 seconds remaining in the third period but was told he could not unless Stolarz was injured.

Neuvirth's collapse was eerily similar to the one by former Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec in a 2010 game against the Washington Capitals. Neuvirth was the goalie for the Capitals in that game.

Also Saturday, Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas suffered an upper-body injury and did not return.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Video
Flyers goalie Neuvirth collapses on the ice
Flyers goalie Neuvirth collapses on the ice
Flyers goalie Michael Neuvirth is taken to the hospital on Saturday after falling on his back awaiting a first-period faceoff.

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