PITTSBURGH -- The Flyers have clinched third place in the Metropolitan Division and a playoff showdown with the Rangers next week.
The Flyers defeated the Penguins, 4-3, in overtime, when Mark Streit's backhander beat Marc Andre-Fleury won it with 2:50 left to play.
Starting goalie Steve Mason suffered an upper-body injury during the second period (see story). Pittsburgh’s Jayson Megna drilled Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald into Mason.
Mason’s head snapped back and he fell backwards onto the ice, striking his head and right shoulder. He stayed down for a few minutes but finished the period, then remained in the dressing room as Ray Emery replaced him to start the third period.
Flyers coach Craig Berube said after the game that Mason was held out of the third period for precautionary reasons and that he expects the goaltender to be ready for the Flyers first round series against the Rangers.
Emery protected a 2-1 lead until James Neal tied it with a shortside goal below the right circle with 5:07 to play in OT. Claude Giroux once again put the Flyers ahead with 1:15 to play, but then Kris Letang re-tied the game.
Flyers forward Jakub Voracek had two goals in the game, giving him 23 for the season.
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Flyers came into this game 8-1-1 in the regular season at CONSOL Energy Center since the building opened in 2010-11. Flyers were 3-1 against the Pens this season.
The Flyers tied it at 17:09 of the first period on Jakub Voracek’s first goal of the game. Ridiculous how Pittsburgh stood and watched Voracek take a pass from Claude Giroux above the left circle, skated into the circle slowly then into the slot before unleashing a shot low to the ice through traffic, tying it, 1-1. It was almost as if Voracek was wearing a “no contact” jersey.
Flyers have scored a power-play goal in 11 straight games at CONSOL Energy Center.
Led by Mason, the PK unit did yeoman’s work in killing off 1:40 of a 5-on-3 Penguin power play in the second period. Braydon Coburn had a big clearing pass and Mason had a couple big saves, too. That kill gave the Flyers momentum as Voracek scored his second goal of the game soon after on a Scott Hartnell tip to make it 2-1. Had Voracek not touched the puck, Hal Gill would have earned his first assist. Hartnell's shot was going into the net on its own merit after a Giroux attempt from the left circle.
How about Mason’s right pad and glove cover-up on Beau Bennett during the Pens’ first power play? Or the save on Jussi Jokinen during the 5-on-3? Or the save on Sidney Crosby at even strength off the rush on a tricky backhander that tipped Mason’s glove?
The Penguins' first shot on net resulted in the game's opening goal after a Flyers turnover. The Penguins got an odd-man rush with James Neal finding the trail man, Jokinen, coming down the slot for his 20th goal and 1-0 Pens lead.
This was Steve Mason’s 61st game this season, which tied his career high originally set during his rookie season. Saturday also marked Mason's 300th NHL game.
Voracek’s second goal gave him a new career high of 23. He had 22 last season.
Jayson Megna checked Andrew MacDonald hard into Mason in the second period, sending the goalie tumbling backwards into the net. Mason was shaken up and did not return for the third period. Megna drew a minor penalty.
Bit of one in the third between Hartnell and Kris Letang after the former tackled the Penguins' defenseman from behind.
The Penguins’ lineup did not have Evgeni Malkin (foot), Taylor Pyatt, Brooks Oprik, Marcel Goc (foot) or Simon Despres for various reasons, not all of which were related to rest.
Pittsburgh also went with seven defensemen as Letang was playing only his second game since suffering a stroke in January.
On defense for the Flyers: MacDonald-Coburn, Erik Gustafsson- Luke Schenn, Hal Gill-Mark Streit. Gill had sat out 44 consecutive games as a healthy scratch – more than half the season!
Defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Nick Grossmann had the day off to rest, Zac Rinaldo remarins suspended, and Jay Rosehill was also a healthy scratch.