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Flyers fall to Sharks; goalie Mason is injured

SAN JOSE - Maybe the Flyers should re-arrange the annual Disney On Ice schedule so they can play at the Wells Fargo Center right after the holidays.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Maybe the Flyers should re-arrange the annual Disney On Ice schedule so they can play at the Wells Fargo Center right after the holidays.

Their post-Christmas road trips don't agree with them.

They lost a game and a goalie on Friday night at the SAP Center, dropping a 2-0 decision to the physical, defensively sound San Jose Sharks.

Goalie Steve Mason injured his left hand in a first-period collision with Joe Thornton and was replaced by Anthony Stolarz to start the second period. Mason kept the Flyers in the game during a San Jose-dominated opening period, stopping 11 of 12 shots.

General manager Ron Hextall said Mason was "nicked up and we'll know more" on Saturday.

In the last three years, the Flyers have lost 10 straight games in their first road trips after Christmas, including two this season.

They are on the road after the holidays because Disney On Ice is at the Wells Fargo Center.

Rookie Aaron Dell, in his sixth NHL game, was forced to make just 21 saves as he collected his first career shutout. He played for Flyers coach Dave Hakstol at the University of North Dakota.

"Our offense hasn't been the best lately, and we have to press that issue," right winger Wayne Simmonds said after the Flyers were shut out for the second time in their last three games. "We have to make things happen; we can't wait for things to happen. We've got to make sure we're doing a better job crashing the crease, getting more shots on net."

The Flyers have lost five of six since their 10-game winning streak ended.

"We've got to stop this slide immediately," Simmonds said. "We're not panicking by any means, but we know this is serious."

"It seemed like during that win streak, we were finding ways to win," defenseman Andrew MacDonald said, "and it just seems right now we're coming up short."

Claude Giroux barely missed scoring the equalizer, but his right-circle blast hit the post with 5 minutes, 44 seconds left in regulation. A little over a minute later, defenseman Justin Braun took a great feed from Joe Pavelski and finished off an odd-man rush, ripping a right-circle shot past Stolarz and giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead.

Stolarz, who had a 1-0 win in Detroit on Dec. 11, was outstanding as he stopped 21 of 22 shots, many from in close.

"He made a lot of big stops, especially on their rushes," right winger Jake Voracek said.

"I thought he was excellent," Hakstol said. "He was prepared coming in, and I thought he played very well for 40 minutes. He had some tough saves and he looked confident doing it."

Stolarz figures to start Sunday in Anaheim.

"I just want to go out and show I can play at this high level," the New Jersey native said.

The Flyers, playing without creative left winger Travis Konecny (benched), had little offense until late in the game. They finished with just seven shots in each of the three periods and rarely forced Dell to make a difficult save.

San Jose controlled the first period _ it had nine of the first 10 shots _ but managed just a power-play goal by Marleau. Mason's stellar goaltending prevented the game from turning into an early rout.

With 3:31 left in the first and Ivan Provorov in the penalty box for tripping, Marleau scored on a rebound, the fifth power-play goal the Flyers had allowed in the last three games.

The Sharks outshot the Flyers in the opening period, 12-7, and Mason made point-blank saves on Joel Ward, Melker Karlsson, and Timo Meier.

The Flyers have lost six straight to the Sharks. They are 1-12-2-5 against San Jose in the teams' last 20 meetings.

"I thought tonight was one of our most complete games all year," said San Jose coach Peter DeBoer after the Sharks' eighth win in their last nine games.

San Jose lost Marc-Edouard Vlasic with 29.9 seconds left as Shayne Gostisbehere's shot was deflected by Joel Ward and hit the defenseman in the face.