Goalie nods: Flyers start Mason for 22nd time in 24 games

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No rest for the weary in Philly tonight — Steve Mason, who’s lost four straight while posting a .841 save percentage, will start for the 22nd time in 24 games when the Flyers host the Rangers at Wells Fargo.

The decision to start Mason comes after Michal Neuvirth was activated from IR, and Anthony Stolarz was sent back to AHL Lehigh Valley. Neuvirth hasn’t played since Nov. 12, which explains why the Flyers are loathe to throw him right into the mix, and Stolarz was extremely raw at the NHL level — making his debut in late November — all of which has led to Mason’s busy schedule.

“It’s been a heavy workload, obviously. I’ve tried to do my best to prepare my body for this load,” Mason said, per the Philly Inquirer. “Every day, you just try to stay on top of things. I feel all right.”

As Brough wrote earlier this week, this upcoming stretch is a big one for the Flyers. They’ve hit a rough patch, with just one victory in their last seven on the heels of a 10-game win streak, and have a pair of big home dates upcoming against the Rangers (who’ve yet to announce a starter) and Bolts.

After that, they play seven of their next 10 on the road, where they’re a modest 8-9-2 so far this season. Wonder how much rest Mason will get.

Elsewhere…

Roberto Luongo returns to Florida’s net, after James Reimer started the last two games. Not sure who he’ll be up against, as the Jets have yet to announce a starter. Connor Hellebuyck, who beat the Bolts last night, could very well go back-to-back.

— Montreal played last night in Nashville, and Carey Price got the win, so it should be Al Montoya‘s start in Dallas (though that’s yet to be confirmed). Kari Lehtonen is in goal for the Stars.

Ryan Miller, 3-0-0 in his last three starts with a .944 save percentage, will start for the Canucks as they look for their fifth win in a row. He’ll be up against Mike Smith, who gets the nod for Arizona.

Calvin Pickard makes his sixth straight start for the Avs, while Semyon Varlamov deals with a groin injury. He’ll face Brian Elliott, who gets his fourth start in the last five for Calgary.

John Gibson, fresh off a franchise-record 51 saves in a win over the Flyers on Jan. 1, is back in for Anaheim. The visiting Red Wings are going with Petr Mrazek.

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