ST. PAUL, Minn. _ Flyers goalie Steve Mason will not be sidelined for a long time, general manager Ron Hextall said after the team's morning skate here on Tuesday.
Mason, one of the Flyers' best players this season, has missed the last two games with an apparent back injury. He visited a specialist in Philadelphia on Tuesday, and Hextall was pleased with the results.
The GM said Mason will not play in Nashville on Saturday, but will make the trip with the team and there's a chance he could skate that day. Best-case scenario: He returns to play in Arizona on Monday.
"He'll start off slowly on the trip and progress," Hextall said."The timeline is that hopefully he skates in Nashville, and we'll go from there and see how it feels."
Hextall said Mason has had a "battery" of tests and that the injury is not significant.
"I'm confident he will not be out long," he said.
The Flyers play Minnesota tonight, and Ray Emery will be in the nets. Rob Zepp, who on Sunday became the oldest goalie to win his NHL debut since 1926, will be the backup.
Hextall said Zac Rinaldo is still injured, and Chris VandeVelde will stay in the lineup.Rinaldo took part in the morning skate Tuesday.
Berube on Byfuglien. Flyers coach Craig Berube and Winnpeg's massive defenseman, Dustin Byfluglien, got into a shouting match on the ice after the Flyers' 4-3 win over the Jets Sunday.
Berube on Tuesday said he was upset with a "high elbow" Byfuglien delivered to captain Claude Giroux. Byfuglien delivered several jarring hits on Giroux, Jake Voracek and Brayden Schenn that night.
The coach said the Flyers do not need an enforcer, but rather need to play with a physical edge.
"Those days are over, boys," he said of having an enforcer protect your star players.
Voracek scored the winning goal in the Flyers' victory over Winnipeg.
"Giroux and Jake and those guys are going to get checked," Berube said. "They're great players, and the thing that impressed me the most is that they played through it, and they eventually took Byfuglien off the puck and scored the (game-winning) goal."
No respect. Voracek, who leads the NHL with 44 points, fell to 20th in the fans' all-star voting. Giroux, the league's third-leading scorer, dropped to 30th.
Breakaways. Emery (6-4-1, 3.13 GAA, .894 save percentage) will face the Wild's Darcy Kuemper (11-9, 2.56, .903), who has been pulled in four of his last five home starts. Niklas Backstrom (5-3-3, 2.58, .901) was scheduled to start but came down with the flu....The Flyers have won two straight, overcoming two-goal deficits in each victory...Minnesota scored a 3-2 victory over the host Flyers on Nov. 20 as Jason Zucker deposited the game-winner with just over 45 seconds left. The Flyers outshot the Wild, 39-29.....During their current eight-game road trip, the Flyers will travel 7,297 miles....Voracek leads the NHL with 44 points, and Giroux is third with 40...Minnesota's Zach Parise has 18 goals in 42 career games vs. the Flyers..
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.