VOORHEES, N.J. -- No matter how much he drinks, Steve Mason can't get his fill.
That pretty much sums up why the Flyers' goalie left Thursday's game in the third period against New Jersey with severe leg cramps.
Mason's cramping was the result of salt deprivation and subsequent dehydration. He says it's been an ongoing issue this season.
"I couldn't bend my leg after that goal [they scored]," Mason said. "I always struggle with cramping. I sweat a ton. I put as much fluid as I can in my body, but sometimes, I can't keep up with it.
"It's not necessarily dehydration, it's the amount I sweat and my salt level. We try to keep up on it and sometimes, it's hard.
"I drink a bunch of different salt drinks, Pedialytes, lots of things with electrolytes. The amount I drink during a game is ridiculous but the amount I sweat counteracts it."
Mason had an IV after the game to stabilize himself.
Maybe he should try some Italian wine?
"In the off-days," Mason said with a laugh.
Mason is expected back in goal Sunday night, as the Flyers host Carolina and once again attempt to get back into the wild-card picture.
The Flyers remain six points out but have been passed by Florida in the hunt and now have to hurdle four teams to claim the second wild-card spot. Carolina can actually tie the Flyers in points with a win Sunday night.
Mason was the goalie of record during the Flyers' dominant 4-0 win over Pittsburgh the night before they collapsed like a tent in the 6-2 loss to the Devils. The inconsistency in the Flyers' play this season has been maddening.
Since their 10-game win streak which ended in mid-December, the Flyers have won two in a row just once and three in a row just once.
That's it. No win streaks. Instead, they've had three, four-game losing skids amid their "win-lose" scenarios.
"The consistency is something we need to address," Mason said. "We can't go from having one of our best games of the year against Pittsburgh and then come around the next night against Jersey with that kind of outcome and overall team game.
"It's something that we continually seem to be talking about. That's what makes good teams and separates them. Consistency on any given night, what kind of effort they have."
The Flyers have not played well against New Jersey for a couple seasons now and frankly, have not played well in Prudential Center ever since the arena opened.
"If we had an answer to that, we would change something, to be honest," Jakub Voracek said. "Since I've been, and even when I was in Columbus, we didn't win many games there. I don't think we had that jump last game, which is weird because it's desperation mode right now.
"But sometimes, you can't do anything about it. You try to push and can't. We were tired. You could tell from the first shift."
Consistency -- or the lack thereof -- was general manager Ron Hextall's main concern a month ago and continues to bother him as the Flyers' playoff chances dwindle down the stretch.
"Everybody has to do a better job of mentally engaging into a game," Mason said. "Preparing for every single game to the best of your ability.
"Sometimes, when you are tired, those are the games where you have to have your mental game overtake your physical game. It's a matter of finding a way and it wasn't good enough."
The Flyers got away with it during their 10-game win streak because momentum, adrenaline and confidence can replace tired legs and win games you should lose.
Right now, however, the Flyers are lacking all three of those intangibles.
Has the mental preparation and mental toughness been missing most the second half of the season?
"That's a good question," Voracek said. "I would need a little longer to think about it. If you don't win, it usually because most of your guys don't play their best. Mental preparation, fatigued, bad luck, in the end, it doesn’t matter, you have to prepare."
There are 12 games left for the Flyers. They need help all around because too many teams ahead of them are playing each other at the end.
"Six points out, it's not bad, but it's not great," Voracek said. "We have to look at other teams and how they play. It's not only in our hands. You gotta look at the other scores, as well."
Brandon Manning (right shoulder) skated and is expected back in the lineup. … Nick Cousins (upper body) did not practice. … Hakstol's line combinations remained the same. He said the loss wasn't the result of poor line play as much as a general fatigue throughout the entire team. … Monday's Flyers practice is at the Wells Fargo Center because of team picture day.