Flyers-Red Wings 5 Things: Steve Mason's Chance

Flyers vs. Red Wings
7 p.m. on CSN, Pregame Live at 6:30

The Flyers (6-6-1) on Tuesday night welcome the Detroit Red Wings (6-6-1) to the Wells Fargo Center for the second time in seven days.

Let’s get to five things you need to know for the matchup:

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1. Return of Mase
Steve Mason is back in net.

The Flyers’ netminder will see his first game action since Oct. 29 as head coach Dave Hakstol rode the shoulders of Michal Neuvirth for four straight games.

The Flyers’ goalie situation has been a strictly results-based competition. If you play well, you play again. Neither has played well, leaving the door wide open for the other.

“If you look at what we’ve done so far this year, good performances have led to consecutive starts,” Hakstol said Monday after practice. “Whether or not that continues exactly in that fashion, we’ll see in the future here. But you have to take it upon yourself to be ready to go and go out and do your job when you’re called upon.”

Here is Mason’s turn to gain steam and starts.

“Every time you get in the lineup, whether you’re a goalie or on defense, you want to play well, because if you play well, that’s how you stick in the lineup,” Mason said. “Everybody wants to play every game. It’s not fun sitting out.”

2. A top-line Read
Matt Read will join Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds atop the Flyers’ forward units as Michael Raffl slides to the third line, which should be centered by Brayden Schenn with Dale Weise on the right wing.

Hakstol has consistently juggled players in search of optimal chemistry and productivity from top to bottom. Aside from the team’s second line of Travis Konecny, Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek, change has been fluid.

“We’re looking at different things,” Hakstol said. “You’ve seen Brayden Schenn up the middle the last two nights and he’s done a good job of that. He’s showing us that he can be a good player there, both in the faceoff circle, in the defensive zone as well as up ice offensively. We’re still looking for that chemistry to build in some other areas.”

Read has earned a top-six opportunity while Hakstol likes Raffl’s straight-line game, which doesn’t change regardless of line and could mix well with Schenn.

“Sometimes you feel a little boost playing with some different players, get new energy, a little bit different style of playing,” Raffl said. “So I don’t mind it.”

“I try to do the same stuff I usually do. It’s not a big difference.”

3. Detroit no likey Philly
We all know the Red Wings’ history playing in Philadelphia, given they were just here last week. But we’ll bring it up again.

Detroit has not won in Philadelphia since June 3, 1997 — Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, a series the Red Wings swept.

And here's a reminder that Detroit’s last regular-season win here came before Travis Konecny was born and when Ivan Provorov was 13 days old. Detroit's last regular-season win in Philly came Jan. 25, 1997.

The Flyers have won 12 straight over the Red Wings on home ice, where they’ve outscored them, 24-10, since the 2013-14 season.

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: Let’s be honest, we’re always keeping an eye on Travis Konecny, but the 19-year-old has been a stud the past two games in which he’s netted two goals. You can see the energy and confidence building.

Red Wings: Dylan Larkin has four goals over his past seven games. One of those markers came against the Flyers last week. The 20-year-old center is on the ice plenty for Detroit and should have an impact.

5. This and that
• Mason’s .878 save percentage and Neuvirth’s .859 are worst in the NHL among goalies with four or more games played. Mason is 12-12-2 with a 2.73 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 26 lifetime matchups with the Red Wings, the team he’s played the most in his career.

• In five games this season, Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard is 2-2-0 with a 1.12 goals-against average and .965 save percentage. The 32-year-old is 3-3-0 with a 3.36 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in six career games against the Flyers.

• The Red Wings have lost five straight games.

• For the Flyers’ projected lineup, a crazy Election Day stat and more, read Greg Paone’s skate update.

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