Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Emery to start tonight

Steve Mason could start games on consecutive nights for the first time as a Flyer on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Emery to start tonight

Flyers goalie Ray Emery. (Matt Slocum/AP)
Flyers goalie Ray Emery. (Matt Slocum/AP)

UPDATE (12:15 pm): The Flyers announced that Ray Emery will start in goal tonight against Marc-Andre Fleury. While it is a bit of a surprise, since Mason is coming off a shutout and has played so well all season, Emery has also only allowed two goals in his last two starts - both against New Jersey.

The information below is helpful because it does give a glimpse inside why the Flyers' coaching staff might not want to use Mason. His career numbers cleary sag when starting two days in a row - like most goaltenders would.

Puck drop is at 8 o'clock tonight on NBC Sports Network.

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PITTSBURGH -- Prior to Tuesday night, Steve Mason had never notched a shutout with the Flyers. He was 52 seconds away a week earlier in Carolina, before the Hurricanes stormed back to hand the Flyers the overtime blemish in their current 3-1-1 run.

Mason may accomplish another Flyer first tonight in Pittsburgh: start both ends of a back-to-back set, something he hasn’t been tabbed to do since his trade to the Flyers last April. Either Ray Emery or Ilya Bryzgalov has split the set each time (7 occurrences).

This time, the Flyers will be looking to string together their first three-game winning streak of the season in a Consol Energy Center building in which they are 8-2-1 since it opened. Mason is 2-2-1 with a .908 save percentage (139-for-153) and 3.18 goals against-average - he is the only reason why last month's 4-1 loss to the Pens was even a winnable game in the third period.

“Yeah (I’m comfortable),” Mason said last night when asked if he could play both games. “Whatever the coach decides, I will do.”

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We won’t know the starter until game time, since the Flyers will not partake in a morning skate. Coming off his 20th career shutout, Mason has earned the chance to do something he hasn’t done in nearly 20 months.

Mason has started on consecutive nights 29 times in his six-year NHL career. As you might expect, his record and save percentage are not as strong in the second game. It’s important to keep in mind only two of those 29 sequences did not involve travel (two straight home games).

Key stats:
Record in First Game: 14-14-1
Record in Second Game: 10-14-4 (w/ 1 no-decision, pulled from game)
Average Save Percentage in Game 1: .897 (4 shutouts)
Average Save Percentage in Game 2: .881 (0 shutouts)

Here’s how it looks:

2011-12 season
3/25/12 - vs EDM - 5 GA, .808 SV (L)
3/26/12 - at DET - 6 GA, .786 SV (L)

3/17/12 - at VAN - 4 GA, .895 SV (L)
3/18/12 - at CGY - 1 GA, .966 SV (W)

2/18/12 - vs. CHI - 4 GA, .800 SV (L)
2/19/12 - at NYR - 3 GA, .914 SV (OTL)

2/11/12 - at MIN - 1 GA, .971 SV (W)
2/12/12 - vs. ANA - 5 GA, .857 SV (L)

12/26/11 - at CHI - 4 GA, .818 SV (L)
12/27/11 - vs. CGY - 1 GA, .962 SV (OTL)

10/21/11 - at DET - 4 GA, .875 SV (L)
10/22/11 - at OTT - 4 GA, .852 SV (L)

10/7/11 - vs. NSH - 3 GA, .903 SV (L)
10/8/11 - at MIN - 4 GA, .826 SV (L)

2010-11 season
4/8/11 - at NSH - 4 GA, .840 SV (L)
4/9/11 - vs. BUF - 5 GA, .833 SV (L)

3/11/11 - vs. LAK - 4 GA, .818 SV (L)
3/12/11 - at CAR - 2 GA, .935 SV (W)

2/8/11 - at PIT - 1 GA, .970 SV (W)
2/9/11 - vs SJS - 3 GA, .906 SV (L)

2/4/11 - at DET - Shutout, 1.000 SV (W)
2/5/11 - vs. EDM - 3 GA, .885 SV (W)

1/14/11 - vs. DET - 2 GA, .929 SV (W)
1/15/11 - at DET - 6 GA, .824 SV (OTL)

12/30/10 - at TOR - 2 GA, .909 SV (W)
12/31/10 - vs. OTT - 3 GA, .921 SV (W)

10/22/10 - vs. CGY - 6 GA, .739 SV (L)
10/23/10 - at CHI - 2 GA, .938 SV (W)

10/8/10 - vs. SJS - 3 GA, .893 SV (L) - in Europe
10/9/10 - at SJS - 2 GA, .943 SV (W) - in Europe

2009-10 season
12/28/09 - vs. DET - Shutout, 1.000 SV (W)
12/29/09 - at NYI - 1 GA, .960 SV (L)

12/14/09 - vs. NSH - 5 GA, .844 SV (L)
12/15/09 - at MIN - 2 GA, .913 SV (L)

10/24/09 - at ANA - 4 GA, .889 SV (W)
10/25/09 - at LAK - 6 GA, .760 SV (L)

2008-09 season - NHL Rookie of the Year, Columbus playoff appearance
4/10/09 - at STL - 3 GA, .880 SV (L)
4/11/09 - vs. MIN - 5 GA, .815 SV (L)

4/4/09 - at NSH - 4 GA, .879 SV (L)
4/5/09 - vs. CHI - 1 GA, .960 SV (L)

3/28/09 - at STL - 3 GA, .893 SV (OTL)
3/29/09 - vs. STL - 5 GA, .815 SV (L)

2/18/09 - vs. STL - 3 GA, .875 SV (W)
2/19/09 - at TOR - 3 GA, .914 SV (W)

2/13/09 - vs. DET - 2 GA, .941 SV (W)
2/14/09 - at CAR - 1 GA, .963 SV (W)

1/30/09 - vs. OTT - Shutout, 1.000 SV (W)
1/31/09 - vs. DAL - 3 GA, .625 SV (ND)

1/20/09 - at EDM - 4 GA, .818 SV (L)
1/21/09 - at CGY - 4 GA, .871 SV (OTL)

1/09/09 - at WSH - Shutout, 1.000 SV (W)
1/10/09 - vs. MIN - 2 GA, .913 SV (W)

1/02/09 - at COL - 1 GA, .958 SV (W)
1/03/09 - at STL - 5 GA, .815 SV (L)

12/13/08 - vs. NYI - 1 G, .960 SV (W)
12/14/08 - at CHI - 2 GA, .933 SV (L)

11/07/08 - vs. MTL - 3 GA, .919 SV (W)
11/08/08 - vs. CGY - 1 GA, .957 SV (W)

SLAP SHOTS: Michael Raffl said he was suffering from a stomach bug but was feeling better last night. He could be back in the lineup in place of Jay Rosehill if he is healthy enough to play. Raffl wanted to skate this morning to test himself ... Claude Giroux collected his 300th and 301st career points in his 350th NHL game last night. The only players with more points since 2010: Steven Stamkos, Henrik Sedin and Martin St. Louis.

QUOTABLE: Senators coach Paul MacLean last week on tips for players growing mustaches in ‘Movember’ to promote men’s health awareness:

“Use a lot of fertilizer. Molson Canadian works for me.”

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

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