Steve Mason made 26 saves in the Flyers' 5-2 win over the Islanders. (AP)
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Steve Mason had done just about all a goalie could do this season to win games except the one thing he was not capable of doing: score goals.
Of his first seven starts, only three times did the Flyers get him two goals.
Saturday at Nassau Coliseum, Vinny Lecavalier gave him a hat trick, the team gave him two more scores and voila: a 5-2 victory (see story).
“Especially, two right off the bat,” Mason beamed. “For us to come out with that kind of effort and take advantage of a tired team was definitely a big part of this game.
“This was a big, overall game for this hockey club. Not just the five goals but all the effort everyone put forth and having a healthy lineup was big, too.”
The Flyers scored twice early in the first period for a 2-0 lead.
Mason got huge support from his penalty-kill units as they shut down the NHL’s No. 1 power play. The Isles came in at 30 percent but went 0 for 3 on Saturday.
“That was one thing, I went over there at the end after we got that last goal and told them (penalty-kill units) that they had some huge blocks there,” Mason said.
“Had they not blocked some, they would have gone into the net. Guys were sacrificing themselves. That’s what we need to win hockey games.”
The Flyers blocked 18 shots.
Max Talbot played 2:47 on the penalty kill and had a couple of blocks and Braydon Coburn played 3:35 while registering four blocks.
“We were ready,” Talbot said. “Lappy (Ian Laperriere) did a great job preparing us. I think we’re getting better as a unit, as well, playing together and making little adjustments. It was good.”