Goalie nods: Stolarz debut on hold as Flyers give Mason seventh straight start


Even with the arrival of Ray Emery, Anthony Stolarz is still Philly’s No. 2 netminder — GM Ron Hextall confirmed as much on Tuesday.

But for now, Stolarz will have to be content with just being the backup, because his time to play still hasn’t arrived.

Tonight, Steve Mason will make his seventh straight start when Philly hosts Washington at Wells Fargo. The decision isn’t a huge surprise — the Flyers are fighting for their playoff lives, not the greatest time to throw the 22-year-old Stolarz into the mix — but it will be taxing for Mason, who has played an awful lot of hockey this month.

Tonight’s start is Mason’s 12th in March, meaning he’s played in all but two of his club’s games. Thankfully for Philly, he’s shown little ill-affect from that heavy workload, going 7-2-2 with a 1.97 GAA and .929 save percentage — a performance that’s gone a long way in Philly vaulting into its current wild card position.

The only question now is when — or, if — Stolarz will make his NHL debut. Philly has just six games left after tonight’s game against Washington, and it’s conceivable Mason will play them all.

Not that head coach Dave Hakstol would tip his hand about future plans.

“We make our decisions on a day-to-day basis who will start as our goaltender for any given game,” Hakstol said, per CSN Philly. “We’ve done that all year long and we’ll continue to do that.”

For the Caps, Braden Holtby will be in goal.


Andrew Hammond takes on Michael Hutchinson as the Sens visit Winnipeg.

Jonas Hiller gets back into the Flames net. John Gibson starts for Anaheim.