Mason Steals Show in Philly; Shuts Down Rangers
It's not often the Flyers play against Henrik Lundqvist and say that the goaltending was the difference-maker in a victory over New York.
Steve Mason was lights-out despite his team's poor offensive showing. His effort enabled the Flyers to steal a 4-2 win from the Rangers despite being out-played for much of the game.
Mason faced 40 shots, stopping 38 in the win. The Flyers got only 22 on net the entire game, leaving Mason to do all the work and steal a much-needed win from the Rangers.
The performance by Mason followed a fantastic effort on Saturday in which he stopped all but one shot faced against Buffalo in a loss. Mason was extended for next season and is set to compete with Ilya Bryzgalov for the starting goalie job.
The Flyers were out-shot and out-played for a decent part of the first period but Lundqvist wasn't on his best hockey during the frame. The Flyers took advantage of some rare shakiness from the reigning Vezina Trophy winner to jump out to the only lead they would need all game.
Midway through the first, Brayden Schenn put the Flyers on the board first. Brandon Manning set up Schenn with a nice pass and the forward beat Lundqvist to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
The rookie blue line helped produce the Flyers' second goal of the game as well.
Late in the period, Sean Couturier skated the puck in on the left side. He sent a pass over to Erik Gustafsson, who wound and fired a slapper from the top of the circle to beat Lundqvist and make it a 2-0 game.
New York cut the lead in half early into the second period. With Oliver Lauridsen accidentally screening Mason, Mats Zuccarello was able to put the puck through Mason's legs to make it a 2-1 game.
Mason turned it on after giving up that goal. In the final two periods, Mason stopped a combined 29 shots to help preserve the win.
The Flyers distanced themselves again. While on the power play, Kimmo Timonen blasted a slap shot past Lundqvist to make it a 3-0 game.
Mason, who was air-tight for most of the end of the game, sprung a very tiny leak midway through the third period. Derek Stepan was able to squeak a wrister under the arm of Mason, cutting the lead to 3-2.
Mason stood on his head the entire third period. To go along with Jakub Voracek's empty-net goal, the Flyers held on to win their second straight game and help make New York's playoff bid more difficult.
"It was his best period," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "They came hard and there was lots of plays from the slot, plays in tight, two screens and he was able to pick up a lot of shots from the outside he was able to cover up or push them aside and not kick them back out front."