Flyers Goalie Michal Neuvirth awake, alert after collapsing

 

PHILADELPHIA -- Goaltender Michal Neuvirth was awake and alert and being taken to Pennsylvania Hospital after collapsing in his crease early in Philadelphia's game against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said in a statement. 

Neuvirth, 29, was awaiting a faceoff at the far end of the ice 7:37 into the game when he fell backward in his crease and landed on his back. He lay motionless as Flyers athletic trainer Jim McCrossin ran onto the ice to attend to him. Three other team doctors later joined McCrossin. 

Neuvirth appeared to be unconscious for a brief time but soon began moving his arms and legs. He later sat up and was carted off the ice in a seated position. 

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

According to Flyers teammate Colin McDonald, Neuvirth was not feeling well before the game. 

Making his 28th appearance of the season and first since March 25, Neuvirth stopped six shots before the incident and did not appear to have any unusual contact in the crease before his collapse. 

Neuvirth was replaced by emergency backup Anthony Stolarz, who was recalled by the Flyers just two hours before game time after No. 1 goaltender Steve Mason fell ill. Stolarz did not arrive at the Wells Fargo Center in time to take warmups but was on the bench for the opening faceoff. 

Neuvirth's collapse was reminiscent of the one by former Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec in 2010 against the Washington Capitals. Ironically, Neuvirth was the goaltender for the Capitals in that game. 

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