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!]

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Topps cover man Claude Giroux answers U.S.-Canada questions

Claude Giroux spent Friday signing virtual autographs as the cover athlete for Topps NHL Skate 2017, a new onilne digital trading card game. Remember when trading cards came in a bubble gum pack? 

After the event, Giroux sat down with CSN's Michael Barkann on Philly Sports Talk for a game of “Who Does It Better: Canada or the United States?”

The game started off with a few easy softball questions, with Giroux picking the NFL over the Candian Football League. Then it got a little tougher, as Giroux chose Canadian hockey over U.S. hockey.

Despite talents like Drake and Shania Twain, Giroux went with the U.S. over Canada in music, and also chose American bacon over Canadian bacon.

Eventually, Barkann asked Giroux which beer he preffered.

“I don’t drink beer," Giroux responded.

Really? What Canadian doesn't like beer?

As he started to get up out of his seat after the interview, Giroux showed his true colors. “I love beer. I love beer,” he said.

Check out the video above to see the full game. 

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

Wayne Gretzky defends Connor McDavid's outburst over Brandon Manning

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As the primary target of opponents over his Hall of Fame career, Wayne Gretzky can certainly empathize with the frustration of Oilers star Connor McDavid.

McDavid and Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning jostled all evening long in a 6-5 Edmonton loss. McDavid denounced the tactics of his opponent after the game, claiming Manning intentionally injured him last season; McDavid missed 37 games with a broken collarbone.

"I guess we can put the whole 'if he did it' thing to rest because what he said out there kind of confirmed that," said McDavid, who taunted Manning after scoring the second goal in the Oilers' loss.

"I think anybody who knows me or who has played with or against me along the road here, knows that I am not that kind of player," Manning said, according to a statement released by the Flyers. "I am not out there intentionally trying to hurt people. I'm a guy who plays the game hard and I take pride in that."

Gretzky didn't mind seeing that fire in McDavid, saying competitiveness is part of what makes the great ones great. And he said the targeting comes with the territory of being a superstar. It was something he and Mario Lemieux dealt with, too.

"And Connor, he's going to get tested every night, but this is not new for him," Gretzky said Friday at the NHL board of governors meetings. "He's been tested since he was a kid and then playing junior hockey and now in the NHL and he's always responded and done his part."