Emery pleased with 'healthy' goalie competition

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Emery pleased with 'healthy' goalie competition

Ray Emery has been through a lot since the last time he suited up for the Flyers.

But it’s last year with the Chicago Blackhawks -- by all means a very successful season -- that might have prepared him best of all for what lies ahead in Philadelphia.

While in Chicago, Emery split netminding duties with Corey Crawford, the goaltender who eventually carried the Blackhawks through the postseason and all the way to the Stanley Cup. Emery not only excelled in net when called upon, but helped support his teammate both in practices and during games.

“I was really rooting for him when he was in the net, and I got a sense when he was rooting for me when I was in the net,” Emery said. “I got a good feeling -- kind of a contagious thing around the team as well, guys want to do well for each other.”

The setup will be similar with his new team. Like in Chicago, Emery wasn’t brought here to be the team’s No. 1 goalie. Instead, he’ll be splitting duties with Steve Mason, the young goaltender the Flyers acquired at least season’s trade deadline.

Just as he did last year, Emery will be competing against his teammate for every start he earns. But instead of looking at it as a negative thing, he knows the goalie battle will push both he and Mason to work even harder. He'll be looking to improve upon his already impressive 1.94 goals-against average and 17-1 record from 2012-13.

“It’s a healthy competition, I guess you could say,” Emery said. “Both guys want to obviously play as much as they can, but I think the team benefits when it’s a situation where guys are helping each other out as well and really feeding off of each other more than competing against each other.

“I look forward to just winning games as a team, whether it’s Steve or I in there, everyone’s going to benefit if the team does well and puts victories up there.”

Emery and Mason have been in touch since the Flyers signed Emery to a one-year, $1.75 million deal this summer. The two goaltenders are already growing comfortable around each other, something necessary for the tandem to work itself out. It's been eight years since the Flyers started a season in which the No. 1 spot was entirely up for grabs.

“It’s great,” Emery said. “It’s good to have someone to kind of relate to, someone that’s in the same boat as you, and to be on the same page as them and have a relationship coming in. It’s good. I think it’s good for the team, it’s good for a good working environment.”

By all accounts, the Flyers who will skate in front of Emery feel comfortable and confident with the team’s situation in net. Whether it's Emery who earns the bulk of the work or Mason, the Flyers are excited about what lies ahead this year and believe the goalie duo sets them up to succeed.

Emery completely understands that mentality.

“They want to win games however they can,” he said. “Personally, I want to win every game I get in. I want to have the best camp I can to be ready when the season comes, and I’m sure Steve does as well. Sometimes it’s just how it shakes down when it gets down to things.

"It’s definitely a healthy situation, I think.”

Best of NHL: Henrik Lundqvist's 36 saves leads Rangers past Kings

Best of NHL: Henrik Lundqvist's 36 saves leads Rangers past Kings

NEW YORK -- Henrik Lundqvist stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Rangers over the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Monday night.

Brandon Pirri, Matt Puempel and Mats Zuccarello scored to help New York win its third straight since a three-game skid.

Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford scored, and Jeff Zatkoff finished with 14 saves for Los Angeles, which has lost four straight and five of seven.

Lundqvist has given up just four goals on 84 shots during the winning streak -- including a 1-0 shutout at Detroit on Monday -- after allowing 20 on 113 shots the previous four games.

The veteran goalie needed to be at his best in this one as the Kings, who last played Saturday across town against the Islanders, seemed a step faster from the start and controlled play for most of the first two periods (see full recap).

Caps top 'Canes to extend point streak to 14 games
WASHINGTON -- Defenseman Dmitry Orlov scored twice and the Washington Capitals kept the offense rolling to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-1 on Monday night and extend their point streak to 14 games.

Orlov doubled his goal output for the season and Justin Williams, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller also scored for the Capitals, who have won three in a row and haven't lost in regulation since Dec. 27. Washington scored on six of its 25 shots on Cam Ward and handed Carolina its fourth consecutive loss.

Braden Holtby made 25 saves for his 23rd victory of the season. The only goal he allowed came from Jordan Staal on the power play in the first period.

The Capitals allowed the first goal for the first time in 11 games but scored six unanswered to continue their winning ways. They've scored 44 goals in their past eight games (see full recap).

Kadri reaches 20 goals as Leafs beat Flames
TORONTO -- Nazem Kadri scored twice to tie his career high with 20 goals this season, Frederik Andersen stopped 26 shots and the Toronto Maple Leafs ended a two-game winless streak with a 4-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Kadri beat Brian Elliott twice, and Andersen captured his second shutout as a Leaf.

Rookies Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman also scored for Toronto, which sits third in the Atlantic Division with 53 points.

Elliott gave up four goals on 28 shots, dropping his fourth consecutive start.

The Flames have lost three in a row and five of the past six. They are a point up on Vancouver for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference (see full recap).

NHL Notes: Rangers' Kevin Hayes out 2-3 weeks with lower-body injury

NHL Notes: Rangers' Kevin Hayes out 2-3 weeks with lower-body injury

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes will miss two to three weeks with a lower-body injury.

The team announced the timeline Monday after Hayes underwent an MRI in the morning. Hayes left the Rangers' game Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings during the second period.

Hayes had seven points in his previous six games and is third on the team in points with 35. The 24-year-old has 13 goals and 22 assists in 47 games this season.

His injury is a major blow to New York, which holds the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The silver lining for the Rangers is that Hayes will miss fewer games because of the upcoming All-Star break.

Senators: Smith signed to 4-year, $13 million extension
OTTAWA, Ontario -- The Ottawa Senators have signed forward Zack Smith to a four-year contract extension worth $13 million.

The Senators said that the extension goes through the 2020-21 season and carries an annual average value of $3.25 million.

Smith, 28, has 11 goals and 11 assists in 43 games this season and is averaging a career-high 16 minutes, 13 seconds per game.

He set career highs with 25 goals and 36 points in 2015-16. He has 75 goals and 61 assists in 443 games, all with the Senators.

Smith was Ottawa's third-round pick (79th overall) in the 2008 draft.