Flyers Notes: Steve Mason makes his debut

Flyers Notes: Steve Mason makes his debut

April 7, 2013, 10:00 am
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba –  Given how tight the Eastern Conference playoff picture has been, you had to figure that the only way backup goalie Steve Mason would see action is if the Flyers were officially eliminated.
 
Or if Ilya Bryzgalov got pulled.
 
The latter occurred Saturday afternoon during an ugly 4-1 loss to the Jets in which Bryzgalov was pulled for the fourth time this season, allowing four goals on just 16 shots (see story).
 
Mason started the third period and finished the game with no goals allowed on nine shots.

He became the 49th goaltender to appear in a regular season game in Flyers’ history and the fourth this year.  
 
“You have to be ready for anything,” Mason said. “When you look at getting your first taste of playing for the Flyers, this definitely wasn't the most pressure-filled situation.
 
“My job was to just go in and close the door for the remaining 20 minutes. Obviously, this wasn't the result we were looking for coming here [to Winnipeg]. We were looking to finish off a pretty good stretch and hopefully we'll bounce back against the Islanders.”
 
Acquired at the trade deadline for Michael Leighton and a third-round pick in 2015, Mason hasn’t had much time to study the Flyers’ defensive schemes or even get used to handoffs with the defense.
 
He catches right, too, which means those handoffs are different.
 
“These are entirely new players for me, a new system, "Mason said. "The Eastern Conference is a little bit different. The Western Conference is a lot more rush plays so for a goaltender it's really managing rush speed.
 
“I tried to make things simple out there and overall it was pretty good. It's something to build off of. Since the trade's been down, I haven't had a practice yet, so I'm looking forward to getting out there with the team and really starting to figure things out here.
 
“It's a new process, new things to understand and get accustomed to, and over the next couple weeks, I'm looking forward to it.”
 
He is just the second, right-handed-catching goaltender in Flyers history, joining Stephane Beauregard.
 
Fedotenko’s streak
Ruslan Fedotenko has a five-game point streak in which he has three goals, including the Flyers lone marker in the 4-1 loss to the Jets.

This matches his longest point streak since May 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.
 
“I feel a little bit more of an opportunity to play, a little bit more ice time, and we're close [to] the playoff games,” Fedotenko said.

“I feel it's more my type of game. It's physical, more aggressive. I've felt pretty good, but I was just kind of waiting a little bit [for] my turn.”
 
Fedotenko began the season for the Flyers with just five points over his first 15 games. He now centers the “Alumni Line” with Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne and his chances to get points have increased.
 
“Even in the beginning you're trying to do as much offensively as you can,” he said. “And I feel since we got Knuble and Simon, I feel we have a little connection there to create some more chances, and even lucky ones are going in.”

Loose pucks
Kimmo Timonen, who incurred a leg/foot injury against Toronto, played 23:23. Though he looked to be skating awkwardly in warmups, he seemed fine during the game. … Kent Huskins led the Flyers with five blocked shots. … Rookie defenseman Oliver Lauridsen was minus-3 and veteran Bruno Gervais was minus-2. … Mason is just the fourth former Calder Trophy winner to play for the Flyers at any point in his career, joining Peter Forsberg, Dale Hawerchuk and Brit Selby. … Winnipeg scored four goals in the second period. That’s the first time this season the Flyers have allowed four goals in a period. The last time? April 3, 2012 against the Rangers.