Saturday, February 13, 2016

Flyers' Mason sharp at practice

Steve Mason, who missed Thursday's playoff opener in New York because of an upper-body injury, is looking sharp at an ongoing practice Friday at Chelsea Piers.

Flyers' Mason sharp at practice

Flyers goalie Steve Mason. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Flyers goalie Steve Mason. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NEW YORK -- Flyers goalie Steve Mason, who missed Thursday's playoff opener in New York because of an upper-body injury, looked sharp during a one-hour practice Friday at Chelsea Piers.

When he first started practice, Mason was shaking his head -- as if he was trying to get the cobwebs out -- but he settled in and stopped shot after shot fired by Chris VandeVelde, Jay Rosehill and Erik Gustafsson.

"It's my first time on the ice in a couple days, and it's a good step," Mason said. "I felt good."

The 6-foot-4 goalie said it was his "goal" to start Sunday, but wouldn't estimate on his chances of playing.

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Mason, who suffered two concussions earlier in his career, said he will "know exactly when I'm ready to go, physically, but it's also a management and doctor's decision as well."

If I'm reading his body language correctly, I think Mason will start Sunday in New York.

The Flyers had a third-period meltdown (again) and dropped a 4-1 decision to the Rangers on Thursday, their ninth straight defeat at Madison Square Garden.

Friday was Mason's first practice since Tuesday. The Flyers will not say if he had a concussion. The goalie was injured Saturday in a goal-mouth collision in Pittsburgh after he made a save on Sidney Crosby.

Mason said it was "very frustrating" to sit out Thursday's opener.

"This is the time you've worked all season to get to, and to see the team go out there in a playoff atmosphere at Madison Square Garden where the stakes are so high.It's something you don't want to be sitting out watching," said Mason, who praised the play of goalie Ray Emery. "It was difficult, especially since the result (wasn't what the team wanted). I think everybody expects a much better game on  Sunday. I don't think anybody was happy with the way the team played."

Goalie coach Jeff Reese was not permitted to comment on Mason's progress, per GM Paul Holmgren.Reese was at the practice Friday.


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