NEW YORK – Provided there are no unforeseen setbacks, it appears Steve Mason will play Sunday in Game 2 against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Mason went through a practice at Chelsea Piers and said he felt good and wasn’t hampered in any kind of movement on the ice.
He last practiced Tuesday and will have a full practice with teammates Saturday.
“I felt pretty good for being on the ice for the first time in a couple days,” Mason said. “It was a good step. I felt great movement wise.”
Can you play in Game 2?
“We still have a couple days before Sunday rolls around, so that’s definitely my goal,” Mason said.
Mason said Flyers management would have to decide on his status. Coach Craig Berube said he’ll make a decision after speaking with all parties later today and what he sees off Saturday’s practice.
“His health is the most important thing,” Berube said. “I’ve said that all along. I'll talk to him today and see how he feels and talk to Jeff Reese the goalie coach and we’ll go from there. He’s going to practice tomorrow."
Mason was smiling and joking with reporters, something he had not done all week when he avoided all contact with the media.
He questioned one reporter who asked about how many concussions he had had in the past (two) and strongly implied that wasn’t the case here.
Mason, who was on the ice with third goalie Cal Heeter and the scratches from Game 1, was seen doing neck-rotation exercises, a good indication that what is really bothering him is whiplash, as many have suspected.
Last Saturday in Pittsburgh, the Penguins' Jayson Megna drilled Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald into Mason. Initially, Mason’s neck snapped back as he tumbled backwards into the crease and fell to ice, striking his head and right shoulder.
He said he remembered everything from the play.
“I made a save on [Sidney] Crosby coming down my right-hand side, a rebound kicked to my left,” Mason said. “I was just looking to get a stick on it and Mac was kind of in a helpless position and pushed into me.”
Mason has not played a playoff game since he was a rookie in Columbus five years ago, when the Red Wings swept his Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round.
He said he forgot that series rather quickly.
“I’m a different person, different goalie now,” he said. “So it doesn’t do anything for me.”