NEW YORK — Steve Mason isn’t quite ready to return to the net for the Philadelphia Flyers.Follow @SlamSports
Despite being on the ice for a second straight day, Mason declared himself out of Game 2 against the New York Rangers as he continues to work his way back from an undisclosed upper-body injury he suffered in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Apr. 12.
Mason won’t even serve as the Flyers’ backup to Ray Emery in Sunday’s game, which features a 12:20 ET puck drop, though he insisted that this isn’t a setback in the grand scheme of things.
“It’s all part of the process. I think we’re doing everything we can to treat it the proper way and as much as it’s frustrating, everybody understands it’s going to be a process,” said Mason. “We need a little bit more time. When is the next game after tomorrow, Tuesday? I’m going to make that my goal. I’m going to make sure that I get as much rest as possible to make sure that I get back to 100% and ready to help the team rather than be a liability out there.”
The Flyers are looking to regroup from Thursday’s 4-1 loss that saw them give up four unanswered goals, including three in the third period and two on the power play.
“Fine. I thought he looked good, looked sharp,” said Flyers head coach Craig Berube, when asked about Emery, who made 32 saves in Game 1. “Those third period goals were power play goals that there’s not much he can do on them, in my opinion. We’ve got to do a better job.”
Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wasn’t interested in going to in-depth about any possible adjustments that his team might make in Game 2.
“Five-on-five, there’s a couple areas, as far as getting more situations in front of their net,” said Vigneault. “I thought we had some good looks last game, but I think we can be better. I’m not going to give you the rundown on what we talked about but we talked about a few areas where I believe we can be better.”
Rangers centre Brad Richards, who had a goal and two assists on Thursday, is expecting a bigger push from the Flyers on Sunday.
“They’re going to be a lot different,” said Richards. “We have to match that or even more. This is where we have to realize that the level is going to go way higher and we can’t get caught resting on Game 1. It’s a whole new game and it’s going to be a whole new speed and intensity level and we’ve got to rise to that.”