Goalie nods: Flyers go with Mason over red-hot Neuvirth

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The Flyers are facing one of the NHL’s best offenses tonight at Wells Fargo, but are not starting the goalie with back-to-back shutouts.

Instead, they’re starting the guy with the 6.09 GAA.

Steve Mason gets the nod over Michal Neuvirth when Philly hosts Dallas, a decision that head coach Dave Hakstol wavered on before confirming on Tuesday afternoon.

Mason hasn’t played since an ugly loss to Florida 10 days ago, attending to a family medical emergency that saw him miss the last two games.

His replacement, Neuvirth, posted back-to-back shutouts over the Panthers and Blackhawks.

Many thought Hackstol would adhere to the “ride the hot hand” philosophy with Neuvirth but, with five days off between the Chicago game and tonight’s tilt versus Dallas, he figured it was time to go back to his No. 1.

For the Stars, Antti Niemi will get the nod.

Elsewhere…

— The Coyotes will roll with Mike Smith in New Jersey, despite the fact he allowed five goals on 43 shots to Boston over the weekend. For the Devils, Cory Schneider is back in net.

Roberto Luongo starts for the Panthers in Pittsburgh, where he’ll face Marc-Andre Fleury.

Jaroslav Halak for the Isles, Curtis McElhinney (again) for the Jackets. Read more about that here.

Jake Allen returns to the Blues net for the first time since beating Vancouver last Friday. No surprises in goal for Montreal, as Carey Price gets the start.

— No official word yet out of Nashville from either the Preds or Bolts, but it is expected that both No. 1s, Ben Bishop and Pekka Rinne, will start.

The Flames are flipping starters again, and will go with Karri Ramo against Washington. No word yet on who the Caps will go with, but Braden Holtby is likely.