Photo Gallery: Steve Mason all but stood on his head in Flyers’ shootout win

Photo Gallery: Steve Mason all but stood on his head in Flyers’ shootout win

Steve Mason continues to make the Philadelphia Flyers relevant. In the box score, it was another ho-hum 34-save night that carried the orange and black to a 3-2 shootout victory in Nashville on Saturday, but as you can see from these photos, the effort was far from routine.

Mason kicks, pokes, swats, dives and sprawls to make one incredible stop after another, including on all three of the Predators’ shootout attempts. AP photographer Mark Humphrey got some outstanding shots of the acrobatics.

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The Flyers’ number one goaltender has only allowed more than two goals in a game once over his past nine starts for a 6-1-2 record, blocking in excess of 30 shots in five of those. He hasn’t surrendered more than three markers in an appearance yet this season.

Not surprisingly, Mason is steadily climbing the NHL leaderboards as a result. The 25-year-old is up to 11th with a 2.09 goals against average, and he’s cracked the top 10 in save percentage, up to eight with a .934.

Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier scored Philadelphia’s goals in regulation, while Vinny Lecavalier put the Preds away in the shootout. The Flyers’ offense continues to languish toward the bottom of the league, their 2.15 goals per game good for 27th.

Mason is holding down the fort for now though—not to mention building his case for a contract extension. The Flyers are just a couple of points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference thanks in large part to his stellar play between the pipes.

Although he wasn't one of this contest's three stars.

>> Mason carries Flyers to shootout win over Preds [CSN]
>> Box Score [Yahoo!]

Former Phillies pitcher, Hall of Famer Jim Bunning dies at 85

Former Phillies pitcher, Hall of Famer Jim Bunning dies at 85

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, who pitched six seasons with the Phillies and went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

Bunning's death was confirmed by Jon Deuser, who served as chief of staff when Bunning was in the Senate. Deuser said he was notified about the death by Bunning's family.

Bunning won 224 games in a 17-year major-league career and pitched the first perfect game in modern National League history. It came with the Phillies on June 21, 1964.

He became the first pitcher after 1900 to throw no-hitters in both the American and National Leagues.

He belonged to a rare group of major league pitchers to throw a perfect game in the modern era.

A Kentucky Republican, he was the only member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to serve in Congress. He served in both the House and Senate.

Today's Lineup: Cesar Hernandez (groin) returns

Today's Lineup: Cesar Hernandez (groin) returns

Cesar Hernandez returns to the Phillies' punchless lineup Saturday afternoon against the Reds (4 p.m./TCN).

Hernandez, who missed Friday night's 5-2 loss with a groin injury, is back at second base and leading off. Hernandez has led off in all 44 games he's started this season. The fifth-year pro has struggled after getting off to a torrid start. He's hitting just .185 (10 for 54) over his last 14 games.

After bouncing around the lineup, centerfielder Odubel Herrera returns to his customary spot in the two-hole. Herrera's season is a microcosm of the Phils' woeful offense. An All-Star in 2016, Herrera is hitting just .227 this season. Manager Pete Mackanin hopes the Venezuelan will hit his way out of it soon (see story).

Here is the rest of today's lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P