Flyers' goaltending strong headed into final week

Flyers' goaltending strong headed into final week
April 6, 2014, 12:00 pm
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Ray Emery had 37 saves in the Flyers' 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. (AP)

BOSTON -- Hard to believe Harry, but as the Flyers cough and sputter toward the finish line having lost four games in succession while threatening to blow their third-place standing in the Metropolitan Division no one is blaming the goaltending.

In years past, you could almost always point to the Flyers' goaltending as a contributing factor in their misfortunes.

That's not true this season with Steve Mason or backup Ray Emery, who held his net as long as he could in the Flyers' 4-2 loss to the Bruins Saturday afternoon (see story).

The Flyers host the Buffalo Sabres Sunday night. Mason is expected in net.

Making his second start in three games, Emery finished with 37 saves against the Bruins. He faced multiple odd-man rushes in the third period and consistently had two or more bodies in front of him as he tried to find shots at his feet.

The game-winning goal in the third period from Johnny Boychuk was a set play in which Emery was screen. Vinny Lecavalier lost a crucial faceoff to Patrice Bergeron and the puck found its way to Boychuk's stick for a one-timer to make it 3-2 Bruins.

“Yeah, you know, it kind of came through some bodies," Emery said. "As a goalie, it’s your job to battle through those screens and stuff. I want to be able to battle through that.

“They are a good team, they buzz around the net. They got big bodies so when they establish position it’s tough to get them out of there. 

“I thought for the most part we went toe to toe with them, had two good periods. It’s deflating to have that goal go in with six minutes left or whatever it was. It kind of got away from us.”

The Bruins outshot the Flyers, 22-8, in the final period as Craig Berube’s club came up lame again when everything was on the line. The Flyers had the possibility to clinch a playoff berth by weekend's end, but that will have to wait until next week -- the final week of the season.

Emery seemed as frustrated as his teammates after the loss. As good as the Flyers looked two weeks ago, right now they’re a shaky bunch lacking confidence in their overall game and their ability to score timely goals when needed.

“It’s important because we need some points to get into the playoffs,” Emery said. “On top of that, it would be a bonus if we could sneak ahead of New York and get some home ice too. 

“The playoffs come fast and if you’re not playing well, normally you see yourselves out pretty quick, so we definitely want to be sharp going in.

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