Michal Neuvirth has posted back-to-back shutouts for the Philadelphia Flyers while Kari Lehtonen has yet to lose in goal for the Dallas Stars.
It’s quite possible neither will start Tuesday night when the Flyers return from a five-day break to host the high-scoring Stars.
Neuvirth has a shutout streak of 132 minutes, 5 seconds that dates to the third period of a 7-1 loss at Florida on Oct. 10 when he relieved Steve Mason. He made 31 saves two days later in a 1-0 victory over the Panthers and 30 on Wednesday in a 3-0 victory over Chicago in the Flyers’ last game.
Coach Dave Hakstol has not indicated who will start Tuesday, though it appears Mason is likely to get the call. Mason, who has a 6.12 goals-against average, would be up against a Dallas team averaging a league-best 3.8 goals.
"They have a lot to throw at you," Mason said. "A ton of offensive power, speed off the rush, real creative players. You look at their top line. They added (Patrick) Sharp this offseason, I’m not sure what line he’s playing on right now, but I think (Jason) Spezza’s on their second line. Spezza’s a world-class player that has a ton of skill and can make you pay. They just come in waves and waves."
Lehtonen has posted a 2.34 GAA in winning all three starts, though he is 1-10-2 with a 3.49 GAA in 13 against the Flyers. The lone victory was a 2-1 win March 10 in which he made 25 saves as Dallas ended a four-game slide in Philadelphia.
Antti Niemi could get the nod instead since he’s 2-1-0 with a 1.83 GAA in three starts against the Flyers. Coach Lindy Ruff did not commit to his starter at Monday’s practice.
"Even before we left on this trip, we talked about the schedule and who we thought would play in different spots and being flexible," Ruff said. "We are going to follow with a schedule that I am not going to tell you."
Dallas (4-1-0) has won both times on this four-game trip to push its win streak to three. Tyler Seguin had two goals and two assists in Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Florida to give him eight points, matching Jamie Benn for the team lead.
Seguin has a four-game point streak while Benn has one in every game.
Philadelphia (2-1-1) is hoping its long break won’t be a factor as it seeks a strong start against one of the league’s fastest teams.
"I think the key for us going into tomorrow night is that we can’t complicate things," winger Wayne Simmonds said. "The first few shifts, we’ve got to get our legs back underneath us, and while we’re doing that we gotta play smart and make sure we’re not turning pucks over in the neutral zone or at the top of the blue lines or anything like that."
The Flyers have the league’s fifth-worst offense with 1.75 goals per game.
Jakub Voracek, who tied for fourth in the league with 81 points a season ago, has no goals and one assist. Captain Claude Giroux, who tied for 10th with 73, has two points.