Steve Mason reacts after giving up the game-winning goal in the Flyers' shootout loss to the Capitals. (USA Today Images)
WASHINGTON -- Steve Mason looked a whiter shade of pale.
Who could blame him? What color would you be after giving up three goals in less than nine minutes in the third period (see story)?
However, what was even more traumatizing for Mason was him muffing a clearing attempt behind his own net.
He’s usually pretty good with the puck. Not Ron Hextall good, but proficient enough to get a puck out of harm's way.
Mason muffed it and it ended up on Alexander Ovechkin’s stick and into the net with 47.9 ticks left in regulation. He leads the NHL with 27 goals this season.
That goal made it 4-4 going into overtime before the Capitals eventually won it in a shootout on Sunday, 5-4 (see Instant Replay).
“That was just a misplay,” Mason said. “I didn’t get that much on it. It’s a bad mistake.”
A terrible, costly mistake in so many ways.
“We had the lead and then they had the zone time and were able to create some chances,” Mason said. “Against a team like that, you can’t get away from your game plan because they will take advantage of it.”
Mason was not entirely at fault in this game. Defenseman Nick Grossmann had the slot all to himself late in the third period when Dmitry Orlov shot the puck from distance.
All Grossmann had to do was block it -- he is among the NHL shot-block leaders.
Instead, he let it go past him and inadvertently screened out Mason’s vision to the inside post. That goal came at 16:29 before Ovie’s to bring the Caps within 4-3.
“Yeah, the third one there, I didn’t see it,” Mason said.
And he didn’t see Eric Fehr’s goal that opened the shootout, which went off his shoulder to the ice, then trickled into the net.
Fehr is now 5 for 5 this season in shootouts. Not too shabby.
“I had no idea where the puck was until it was over the goal line,” Mason said. “I got a good chunk [of the shot]. I thought it would go to the corner.”
The Caps, as a team, are 8-3 in the shootout. They have the snipers to win these games, too, and they’re perfectly willing to see it go past overtime.
So this is the Flyers' fourth straight road loss and fourth straight road game in which they gave up at least four goals in regulation. Not too good.
“This was a big game for us,” Mason said. “We had the lead. We could have potentially taken two points from them and have them get none.
“And we just let it slip away. That’s a bad loss.”
Michael Raffl had three assists, a career high for assists and points in a game. Raffl equaled his assist total from his entire season thus far (20 games) in this one game. ... Jakub Voracek extended his point-scoring streak to four games (three goals) with his goal. … Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist. He has two goals and three assists for five points in the last three games.