Flyers' Steve Mason to make first post-season start since 2009

Steve Mason of the Philadelphia Flyers plays the puck in the third period against the Buffalo...

Steve Mason of the Philadelphia Flyers plays the puck in the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at Wells Fargo Center on April 6, 2014. (Elsa/Getty Images/AFP)

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:18 PM ET

The Philadelphia Flyers realize that if they want to even up this series with the New York Rangers, they need to find a way to get more pucks to the net.

The Rangers blocked a whopping 28 shots in Tuesday’s 4-1 triumph. Finding a way to generate offence has been a challenge for the Flyers, who have managed only six goals in three games.

“In general, they did a great job of blocking shots last game and you’ve got to fake some shots, make them go down, move it. The shooter has got to do a better job of getting it by people,” Flyers coach Craig Berube said.

“You can’t just one-time a shot off the pass against these guys all the time because they’re very good at getting in the lanes and blocking them.”

New York holds a 2-1 series edge and the Flyers are determined not to find themselves on the brink of elimination after Friday's game at Wells Fargo Center.

“We’re desperate,” said Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, who has one goal this post-season. “We want to win this game tonight. We need to win this game tonight.”

The Flyers will have Steve Mason in goal for Game 4 and he’ll be making his first playoff start since 2009, when he was playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Mason has seen just over seven minutes of action in relief of Ray Emery in Game 3 as he’s been working his way back from an upper-body injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 12.

“Steve was really down on himself that he couldn’t start the series but now he’s back and feeling great,” Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said.

“Steve works really hard, he’s one of our hardest working guys in practice and games,” Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux added. “For him to be back, it’s good for the team and it’s good in the room. Like a refresh, a little bit.”

Mason only has four starts and one relief appearance on his playoff resume, but he backstopped Canada to a gold medal at the world junior championship back in 2008.

“He was our MVP at the world juniors and that speaks for itself,” Giroux added.

Going into this series, there was plenty of talk about how the Flyers would try to use their physical play to their advantage. But that hasn’t really transpired to this point.

“Last game was physical, I thought it was the most physical game out of the series,” Berube said. “Overall, we can be more physical in situations, but on the other hand, we don’t want to be running around out of control.”

Flyers agitator Zac Rinaldo thinks he needs to get a little more involved physically, but concedes a suspension late in the regular season has been a factor in him being a little too cautious out on the ice.

“I think I’m being a little too careful out there, I might need to change that,” said Rinaldo, who has only one minor penalty in three games.

“But like I said, I only play 4-6 minutes and I don’t want to take a penalty during those four-to-six minutes. I’m playing that fine line and it’s even more fine now that it’s in the playoffs. You’ve got to deal with it. But I’ve got tools in my bag, I don’t have just the hits. I’ll go out there and play some hockey.”

While the Flyers held a full morning skate, only the extra players for the Rangers hit the ice on Friday morning. This likely means they won’t be making any lineup changes in Game 4.


MIKE ZEISBERGER BREAKS DOWN ALL 16 PLAYOFF TEAMS

Click the box below for the skinny on this year's post-season


Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game:

FLYERS

Scott Hartnell-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn-Vincent Lecavalier-Wayne Simmonds

Matt Read-Sean Couturier-Jason Akeson

Michael Raffl-Adam Hall-Zac Rinaldo

Defence

Braydon Coburn-Kimmo Timonen

Mark Streit-Nicklas Grossmann

Andrew MacDonald-Luke Schenn

Goalie

Steve Mason

Ray Emery

RANGERS

Rick Nash-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis

Mats Zuccarello-Derick Brassard-Benoit Pouliot

Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Dan Carcillo

Brian Boyle-Dominic Moore-Derek Dorsett

Defence

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Anton Stralman

John Moore-Kevin Klein

Goalie

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot


Videos

Photos