Flyers without Mason to start series against Rangers

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason (35) makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the...

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason (35) makes a save against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at Wells Fargo Center last month. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

KEN WIEBE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 2:41 PM ET

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - The Philadelphia Flyers will open the Stanley Cup playoffs with starting goalie Steve Mason on the sidelines.

With Mason out with an undisclosed upper-body injury (suspected concussion) that he suffered against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, Flyers head coach Craig Berube declared that Ray Emery would start Game 1 against the New York Rangers on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

"I take everything as a learning experience," Emery told reporters at the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees, N.J. "You learn from successes, you learn from failures as well. I've had a lot of both. I get excited to play in these situations. Especially playoffs, especially (with) a group like this."

Emery was 9-12-2 with a 2.96 goals against average and .903 save percentage in 28 games this season but is 20-15 with a 2.57 goals against average and .903 save percentage in 36 playoff contests with the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks.

Emery was also the backup last season when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.

"I think we have a lot of confidence in (both of) them. They've played some big games for us this year," said Flyers captain Claude Giroux. "Obviously, (Emery) has some experience in the playoffs. He's won a Cup. For him to bring that experience, it's good.

"It doesn't matter to all the players. We have a lot of confidence in (Emery) and (Mason) to play hard and play for the team. It's fun to have two goalies like that.

The Rangers appear to hold a significant edge in the crease going into the series with Henrik Lundqvist rounding into form down the stretch, but they weren't about to provide any bulletin-board material on Wednesday when asked about facing Emery instead of Mason.

"For us, it doesn't really matter if it's Mason or Emery. They're both really good goaltenders," said Rangers centre Derick Brassard, who left Tuesday's practice early but declared himself ready to go in Game 1. "Steve had a really good season, but Emery is a goalie who, in the past, has shown he can be a really good goalie in the playoffs. For us, we focus on how we want to play. We play our game and it doesn't really matter who is in net."


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