When the Flyers have played on the road this season, things have gone so badly for Steve Mason that even when he registers a shutout he is the losing goalie.

It happened Thursday in St. Louis, where Mason put together another sensational performance but once again was the victim of the Flyers' offensive ineptitude in a 1-0 shootout loss.

Mason, who is among the NHL leaders in save percentage (.925, tied for fifth) and goals-against average (2.26, 10th), has more road shutouts (two) than road wins (one).

He has lost both of those road shutouts, dropping a 1-0 decision to the Islanders earlier in the season.

"Obviously, I'd like to have more wins on the road," Mason told reporters Friday at the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees. "Situations like that, from a personal standpoint, you have to laugh it off and push forward. That's all you can do."

Mason was critical of the team's competition level Tuesday after a 2-1 defeat to Dallas. After making 35 saves Thursday, he praised the Flyers' effort.

"It's not an easy building to play in; they're a big, heavy team," he said. "The guys responded well . . . and we were working hard."

But they couldn't finish around the net. They have scored a total of five goals in their last four games - all losses.

Mason, 26, is having what he calls his best professional season. He arguably has emerged as the Flyers' MVP but unfathomably has just a 13-15-10 record - and a 1-10-6 mark on the road.

It's difficult to figure out which is the most mind-boggling statistic in the Flyers' bizarre season: Mason's one road victory or the fact that star center Claude Giroux has yet to score an even-strength goal at home.

Giroux will get another chance Saturday afternoon when the Flyers face Mike Babcock's Detroit Red Wings at the Wells Fargo Center. Babcock, in effect, will be a free-agent coach after the season. Many teams, including the Flyers, could be in pursuit.

Mason is expected to make his eighth-straight start. His road numbers (2.60 GAA, .913 save percentage) are respectable; his home numbers are off the charts: a 12-5-4 record, a 1.97 GAA, and a .936 save percentage.

The Flyers would be wise to have Saturday's game end after regulation. They have just one win in their last eight decisions in games decided in shootouts or overtime.


Coach Craig Berube said he was "dumbfounded" by the team's even-strength struggles. The Flyers are 23d in the 30-team NHL, averaging 1.64 five-on-five goals per game.. . . Defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who missed the last three games with an undisclosed injury, skated briefly Friday but is not expected to be ready for Saturday.. . . Giroux has two goals in his last 21 games.