Flyers' Mason starts again; not fatigued yet

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Flyers goalie Steve Mason.

Steve Mason started for the 12th time in the last 13 games Wednesday, but the Flyers goalie said fatigue is not a factor.

Instead, he said he feels energized by the team's predicament.

"It would be a lot more difficult if we weren't in a playoff race," he said before making his seventh straight start as the Flyers faced powerful Washington. "When you're playing for something that's meaningful, it makes it a lot easier. It's that time of year, and it's fun to be a part of when you're in the playoff picture."

The extra work seems to have sharpened Mason's game. In his last five starts before Wednesday, he had a 1.76 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.

"I just come to the rink expecting to play right now, and that's a good position to be in," Mason said.

The Flyers have six games left - three sets of back-to-back matchups.

Coach Dave Hakstol was asked if it was important to give Mason at least one of those games off.

"I guess what I would say is, What are we resting for?" Hakstol said. "No. We're playing to get points right now. We'll continue to look at him day by day and evaluate how he's doing. If there's a night where we think it's not best for our team for him to be the starter, then we'll have him have the night off. But we're playing in the moment here and he's been outstanding."

The risk, of course, is that fatigue will set in and cause Mason to have an off game.

"We'll try to gauge that and try to be smart about it," Hakstol said.

Emery returns

Ray Emery joined the Flyers on a tryout basis Wednesday. He will be the Flyers' No. 3 goalie, behind Mason and rookie Anthony Stolarz, giving the team some depth while Michal Neuvirth recovers from a knee injury.

"He brings a lot of experience and a lot of presence," Hakstol said.

Emery, who is hoping to play in Europe next season, participated in the morning skate.

"It's great having him back here. Razor is one of the most well-liked guys in the locker room, so it's nice to have a friendly face back here," Mason said, referring to Emery by his nickname. "And he's good for team morale down the stretch drive as well."

Being back with an NHL team "makes you realize how special your time is in this league," Emery said. "I love the game more than anything, so I want to keep playing."

Neuvirth is expected to be ready for the playoffs if the Flyers qualify.

Konecny sidelined

Travis Konecny, the Flyers' top offensive prospect, injured his shoulder but said he would not miss the rest of the OHL season. He was in Philadelphia to be examined by Flyers doctors, but general manager Ron Hextall had no update.