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OTF: Manning returns, Mason back in

News, Notes & Quotes from the morning skate in Minnesota.

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

A light optional skate this morning at XCel Energy Center gave way to some lineup news for tonight's game.

The first of which was that defenseman Brandon Manning will re-enter the lineup after missing the last five games. Manning has 10 points (3g-7a) on the blueline this year while averaging 17:50 of ice time. 

"I'm feeling good. Feeling strong and I did some contact a few days ago so I'm not even thinking about that," said Manning on recovering from his upper-body injury.

Manning is also third on the team's defense in hits at 105, despite missing 15 games this season. He will be paired alongside Radko Gudas, who leads the team, and ranks third overall in the NHL, averaging 4.2 hits per-game. 

That physical aspect Manning brings to the table is something that Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said was a part of the reason to get him back in.

"We're playing a heavy team tonight." said Hakstol. "They have some size up front and they're a heavy team down low so we'll need that pair to play that way. They have to be an abrasive pair and they have to be on the heavy side defensively."

With Manning in, Michael Del Zotto comes out of the lineup for the first time since the Stadium Series game at Pittsburgh on Feb. 25. In 11 games since then, he has posted five points (1g-4a) and logged an average of 20:20 ice time.

SAME AS WEDNESDAY
Hakstol confirmed that the lines used in Wednesday's practice will be implemented in tonight's game.  SEE FULL STORY: The Minnesota Shuffle

In addition, Steve Mason will get the call in net again. It will be his seventh straight start and 11th start in the last 12 games where he has posted a 5-4-1 record to go along with a 2.25 GAA and .923 save percentage since Feb. 28.

Puck drops at 8 p.m on the east coast on CSN, or listen live on 97.5 The Fanatic. For a more detailed look at the game, here are 5 Things you need to know…

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