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Flyers' Mason back in groove, but has struggled vs. ex-teammates

Flyers rookie coach Dave Hakstol likes staying with a goalie who has a hot hand, but he may want to alter that thinking for his team's next game, Saturday night in Columbus.

Columbus is Steve Mason's former team, and the Flyers goalie seems to get too hyped when he faces the Blue Jackets.

Mason is coming off Thursday's 36-save, 2-0 win over Vancouver, but he has not been at his best in games against Columbus, perhaps because he's trying to show the Blue Jackets that they made a mistake by demoting him (behind Sergei Bobrovsky) and then trading him to the Flyers.

In six career games against Columbus, Mason is 2-3-1 with a 3.21 goals-against average and .891 save percentage. He was a 4-1 loser to the Blue Jackets on Dec. 5 at the Wells Fargo Center.

In addition, he has not performed well with one day between starts this season: a 1-3-1 record, a 3.39 GAA, and an .876 save percentage.

Michal Neuvirth is rested and ready to go. He has not faced Columbus this season but is 2-0 with a 2.45 GAA and .929 save percentage in his career against the Jackets.

Neuvirth leads the NHL with a .937 save percentage this season.

The Blue Jackets (12-19-3) snapped a five-game losing streak with a wild 7-5 win in Arizona on Thursday. They won without top-line center Ryan Johansen, who was (stunningly) a healthy scratch, and injured defensemen Jack Johnson and David Savard, two of their mainstays.

Playoff hunt. With their win Thursday, the Flyers (14-12-6) moved to within two points of New Jersey for the final wild-card spot. The Flyers are on an impressive 7-2-1 run.

Breakaways. The win was the Flyers' first home regulation victory since Oct. 14 vs. Chicago.  The Flyers' seven home wins this year have been shutouts (three) or gone past regulation (three overtime wins, one shootout win)....The Flyers outhit the Canucks 36-15....In Columbus' Dec. 5 win at the Wells Fargo Center, former Flyer Scott Hartnell had a goal and two assists, and Bobrovsky, another ex-Flyer, recorded the victory. Bobrovksy is now sidelined with a lower-body injury....Defenseman Luke Schenn could return to the lineup Saturday.