TAMPA, Fla. - Do not read anything into it if goalie Ray Emery starts two of the season's final three games for the Flyers, coach Craig Berube said before Thursday's matchup with Tampa Bay.
Steve Mason will be his primary goaltender in the playoffs.
Berube went with Emery on Thursday. In a limited sample, Emery has a much better record against the Lightning this season than Mason.
The Flyers will face the Penguins on Saturday afternoon.
"The truth is, right now, I don't know who's going to play in Pittsburgh," Berube said after Thursday's morning skate at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. "We'll have to see what goes on in the game tonight."
Because of the way he has used Emery against top teams lately, Berube was asked whether he was starting to change his mind about his No. 1 goalie.
"No. No way. It's not that at all," Berube said.
Mason is still No. 1, Berube said.
"We wanted to switch goalies down the stretch to keep them fresh. That's important," he said.
The Tampa game was Emery's third start in the last six, and he faced the three toughest opponents during that stretch: St. Louis, Boston, and Tampa Bay.
"I don't think I play Emery against harder opponents," Berube said. "You guys think deeply, deeper than me. I really don't look at it like that. A lot of things go into it. . . . Like I've said all year long, we need both goalies, and they've done a great job. And it's about being a team, and that's what we are."
Mason recorded a 5-2 win in Florida on Tuesday.
Berube said he has confidence in both goalies, and Emery has been a "very good goalie for a long time. He took the Ottawa Senators to the Finals, won a Cup with Chicago. We had him here, and it was unfortunate what happened [2010 hip surgery], but we really liked him at the time. He's a winner."
Berube said he wasn't concerned about Mason's confidence waning because he hasn't played as much lately.
"I don't see why that would hurt his confidence," he said. "I thought he played a good game in Florida. He'll get back in there again."
There will not be a goalie carousel in the playoffs, like in 2011 under Peter Laviolette.
"I'm not Lavy," Berube said.
Breakaways. Andrew MacDonald said his agent has been talking to general manager Paul Holmgren about an extension; the defenseman said he wants to stay with the Flyers. . . . Erik Gustafsson, who played just once in the previous 19 games, returned to the lineup and replaced the hobbled Nick Grossmann.