What should the Flyers take away from their loss to the Predators?
Steve Mason allowed three goals during the shootout in the Flyers' 4-3 loss to the Predators on Thursday. (AP)
Steve Mason is generally not fan of shootouts. And he’s certainly not a fan of being on the losing end of them, as he was on Thursday night.
Mason took responsibility for the Flyers' 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators –- whether he deserved to or not.
“The guys gave me two opportunities to win the game, and I couldn’t do it,” he said. “So I let them down tonight.”
Predictably, though, his teammates didn’t see it that way.
“I don’t think it’s his fault,” Andrej Meszaros said. “He was great, we just didn’t play well enough to win. We didn’t play really well, and we had to come back again, and this time it didn’t work. You can’t play like that every time. You want to play with the lead, and the last few games, it’s not happening. It’s going to be tough during games like that.”
Mason stopped four of the shooters he faced, but allowed three goals. Only Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier were able to beat Predators goalie Carter Hutton.
“I don’t think he can worry about that,” Wayne Simmonds said. “He’s been saving our butts all year. It has nothing to do with him. We should have played a more solid 60 minutes in front of him.”
And the coach? Does he believe any blame belongs on Mason’s shoulders?
“No,” Craig Berube said. “It’s a team effort.”
Simmonds’ strong night
Simmonds put in yet another strong performance against the Predators, registering a goal and two assists. It was his second consecutive multi-point game and seventh of the season.
“He does a great job around the net, Simmer,” Berube said. “And he ended up getting that big goal, got us a point. He’s been very consistent for a while now, the whole line has.”
Simmonds now has 20 points (11 goals, nine assists) in his last 15 games. He credits his linemates for the recent success.
“I would say I feel good, but it has to go to the team and my linemates,” he said. “Me and Hartsy [Scott Hartnell] and [Brayden] Schenn have been playing together for probably the last month and we’ve been playing well. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to those guys.”
The save of the season
Michael Raffl was charging in on the Predators’ net with the puck in his position. Hutton was caught out of position -- and out of the net entirely -- thanks to a strange bounce on a wraparound behind the goal.
But somehow, Raffl didn’t score. Hutton lunged across the net to make the stop.
“I would rather call it a miss,” Raffl said. “I had the open net. The puck was bouncing right on my blade. He [David Legwand] just got a stick on me a little bit. It changed direction. I wasn’t aiming there. You got to give him credit. It was a desperate save. It was a nice save, I guess.”
Meszaros’ scoring touch
Meszaros didn’t have his strongest defensive performance of the season Thursday, but he has recaptured his offensive prowess lately.
The Flyers’ defenseman registered a goal and an assist against the Predators. He has seven points in his last five games.
“He’s confident with the puck,” Berube said. “He’s doing good things at the blue line with it, jumping up in the play like he did on that goal. He’s got confidence.”
The game was the Flyers’ seventh shootout of the season. They’re now 3-4 in shootouts in 2013-14. … Thursday’s loss was the Flyers’ first loss to the Predators at the Wells Fargo Center since 2006. … Claude Giroux was 73 percent (16 for 22) on faceoffs. … The Flyers have scored a power-play goal in four consecutive games and six of their last seven.