Facing their second game in two nights, coach Dave Hakstol unsurprisingly chose to give Steve Mason the night off, allowing Michal Neuvirth the opportunity to start against the Boston Bruins.
Sam Gagner and Brandon Manning were likely more surprised than Mason to see their names off the lineup sheet.
The Flyers will start R.J. Umberger and Luke Schenn in place of Gagner and Manning tonight in Boston. Umberger missed two games last week due to an undisclosed upper-body injury, and then was a healthy scratch last night against the Blackhawks. Schenn has been scratched since an underwhelming performance against the Florida Panthers on October 10th.
The removal of Brandon Manning from the lineup is easy to justify. Manning played a hand in both Dallas goals last night, first misplaying a tough bounce that led to a Tyler Seguin tally and then allowing a Stars odd-man rush via an overly aggressive pinch on their second goal.
Replacing Sam Gagner, on the other hand, is worthy of closer inspection. The Flyers forward has two points in three games since earning his way into the lineup, and has brought an infusion of skill to both the middle-six lines and the second power play unit.
At the same time, Gagner did not have a standout performance last night, and has received minimal even strength ice time over the past two games. He also seems to be an ill fit for the fourth line. As a result, if Hakstol intends on giving Umberger a role on one of the team's top three lines, Gagner was the obvious skater to replace.
It was speculated that Ryan White could take a seat after his underwhelming game last night, but Hakstol has again left the fourth line intact.
Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
Matt Read - Sean Couturier - Wayne Simmonds
R.J. Umberger - Scott Laughton - Brayden Schenn
Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White
Nick Schultz - Mark Streit
Evgeny Medvedev - Radko Gudas
Michael Del Zotto - Luke Schenn