OTTAWA -- Steve Mason should have had his first Flyers shutout in Carolina back on Nov. 5. He lost it in the final minute of regulation, then lost the game in overtime.
It burned him. He was angry. He kept his tongue and backed his team.
Tuesday at Canadian Tire Centre, his teammates made it up for Mason with a 5-0 shelling of the Senators in which Mason had 24 saves (see Instant Replay).
It was the first time the Flyers shut out Ottawa in the regular season since Jan. 18, 1999, also a 5-0 win in which John Vanbiesbrouck made 36 saves.
“Everything came together,” Mason said. “This was an extremely sound effort all around. From a defensive standpoint, we didn’t give [much] up.
“Guys were really pressing on the backcheck to make sure they were taking away rush opportunities. This is a good game to have going into tomorrow night [against Pittsburgh].”
Mason has not given up more than three goals in a game in 20 games as a Flyer since joining the team late last season.
Mason said he would feel fine playing back-to-back on Wednesday against Pittsburgh. He got a break as Ottawa had one goal denied on review (stick above the bar).
“I was disappointed to lose the one in Carolina,” Mason said. “When you continue to work hard and the team comes around, these opportunities are going to come around again. We just have to make sure to close it out.
“There’s nights when goaltenders earn a shutout and do a lot of the work. But tonight was a complete team effort. We worked hard for this win.”
They backed him with five goals (see story), including a season-high two power-play goals in one game. Claude Giroux’s line was dominant with a pair of goals and five points along with 13 shots generated from those three players.
Giroux said it felt good to reward Mason, who has been the Flyers' best player since the beginning of the season. He’s given them a chance to earn a point every game but one -- the Washington blowout.
“A lot of times, he should have gotten shutouts,” Giroux said. “He’s a really good goalie. Since he got traded here, he has unbelievable latitude. In practices and games, he’s the one working the hardest.
“When you see your goalie working hard like that, when you only score two goals and your goalie is behind you like that and still pushing you and telling you it’s going to come, he wasn’t getting [ticked] at us. You want to play hard for him.”