For the third time in four nights, we have a starting netminder switch in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Philadelphia Flyers will park Steve Mason in favor of Michal Neuvirth for tonight’s potential elimination game against the Caps, per CSN Philly.
The decision comes after Mason had a great Game 1 — 29 saves on 31 shots — but then allowed 10 goals on 50 shots in Games 2 and 3, including this historically bad marker to Jason Chimera:
As mentioned above, this is just the latest in a sequence of goalie changes.
On Sunday, Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill parked Jimmy Howard in favor of Petr Mrazek after Howard started the two opening games — both losses — of the Tampa Bay series.
Mrazek posted a 16-save shutout in Game 3.
On Tuesday, Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau parked John Gibson in favor of Frederik Andersen after Gibson started the opening two games — again, both losses — of the Nashville series.
Andersen posted a 27-save shutout in Game 3.
Neuvrith had a pretty solid year, going 18-8-4 with a .924 save percentage and 2.27 GAA. He carried the starting load at times, but a torn meniscus in his left knee sidelined him at the end of the regular season.
Mason played almost exclusively down the stretch, and backstopped the Flyers in the to the playoffs.
All told, Neuvirth’s played just one game in the last four weeks — Philly’s season-ending win over the Isles on Apr. 10, in which he stopped 15 of 17 shots.
There is some history between Neuvirth and the Caps, which could give the 28-year-old some added juice for tonight’s tilt.
Neuvirth was drafted by Washington and spent his first six NHL seasons there, starting nine playoff games for the team during the 2011 postseason.
He eventually lost the starting gig to Washington’s current No. 1, Braden Holtby, and was dealt to Buffalo in 2014.