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Flyers contemplate change in goal for Game 4

Philadelphia may turn to Neuvirth over Mason in 3-0 series hole

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

VOORHEES, N.J. -- No decision has been made on the Philadelphia Flyers starting goaltender for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Washington Capitals at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.

The Flyers lost to the Capitals 6-1 in Game 3 on Monday and trail the best-of-7 series 3-0. 

Steve Mason has played all three games and has an .852 save percentage, but that's in part because of the eight power-play goals the Flyers have allowed. At 5-on-5, Mason's save percentage is .922.

Video: WSH@PHI, Gm3: Ovechkin pots second goal of game

"There's two sides to that argument," Hakstol said. "I think you can make your argument to go either direction. It's a decision we'll make tomorrow, our regular process on game day."

Mason started 17 of the final 19 games of the regular season, and his play was a major reason the Flyers were able to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I think it's an understanding between [Hakstol] and I that I want to play," Mason said. "In saying that, it's up to him." 

Michal Neuvirth has been limited to two games in that span because of a lower-body injury sustained March 16. He was one of five players to skate Tuesday and said he's ready if needed.

"I feel 100 percent," Neuvirth said. "I feel I'm practicing really good. I feel good about my game. If I play, I'll play with confidence."

Change for the sake of change could also be a consideration, but Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said he wasn't sure if switching goalies is the answer. 

"I don't know if I'd go that far and say it provides a spark," he said. "I think we should be sparked by the fact that we're down 3-0 and we have to win a game. We're at home. We have to hit the refresh button here. We have to come out tomorrow and be fired up to play. Our mission right now is to win one game. That's it."

Regardless of who is in net, the Flyers know they need to produce more offense. They have scored two goals in three games and are 0-for-13 on the power play.

Video: WSH@PHI, Gm3: Raffl puts a rebound past Holtby

"We're attacking the net good, getting our chances," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "We've got to get in front of the goalie. At the end of the day, we've just got to get some rebounds, some tips; that kind of goal."

The top line of Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds certainly would like any kind of goal. They're part of the power-play outage and have combined for one goal and a minus-4 rating, despite being positive players in shot differential. Giroux and Voracek are plus-10 in shot attempts at even strength and Simmonds is plus-9.

"We've got to have more offensive impact," Simmonds said. "That's our job. We're all leaders on this team and every single one of us can do a better job, and we're going to have to, to stretch this series out."

Voracek said the Capitals aren't defending his line any differently than they did during the regular season, and isn't sure why things aren't going the Flyers' way.

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