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Flyers' Michal Neuvirth out 3 weeks with lower-body injury

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers will have to make their playoff push without goaltender Michal Neuvirth.

General manager Ron Hextall announced Sunday that Neuvirth will miss the remaining three weeks of the regular season with an unspecified lower-body injury. That leaves starter Steve Mason to shoulder the load for the Flyers, who are three points back of Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Neuvirth, who beat the defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, has been injured and sick off and on during his eight-year NHL career, including this season. He missed a scheduled start March 12 at Florida with an illness and was supposed to play Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Instead, Neuvirth injured himself stretching before warm-ups, forcing Mason to start. The Flyers lost 4-1.

In his first season with Philadelphia, the 27-year-old Neuvirth is 28-17-8 with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage that ranks him fifth in the league.

With Neuvirth out, Mason will split time with rookie Anthony Stolarz, whom the Flyers recalled from the American Hockey League on an emergency basis. Stolarz, a second-round pick in 2012, could make his NHL debut this week as the Flyers play back-to-back at the New York Islanders on Monday and at Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday to open a four-game road trip.