Flyers Notes: Mason starts in goal for Flyers' opener

Posted: October 04, 2013

In a bit of a surprise, Steve Mason was the Flyers' starting goalie in Wednesday's opener against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ray Emery, 31, who went 17-1 with the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks last season and finished seventh in the Vezina Trophy voting, was the backup.

"We had to have a starting point here," coach Peter Laviolette said before the game. "Steve came in last year and really played terrific for us."

Mason, 25, was superb in a seven-game stint with the Flyers, posting a 1.90 goals-against average after being acquired from Columbus. He struggled this preseason, compiling a 3.67 GAA and .859 save percentage. Mason played only one of his three preseason games with the regulars on defense.

Laviolette gave Mason the start "just based on what Steve did at the end of last year and the way he came into camp in shape. You could make a case for either one, but we had to start somewhere and we just decided to go with Steve. He's had a great camp and is ready to go."

Emery, playing mostly with regulars in front of him, had a 3.30 GAA and .873 save percentage in the preseason.

"We will evaluate things as they go on, but both goaltenders will play" a significant amount of time, Laviolette said.

Emery took the news that he was Wednesday's backup in stride.

"There's a lot of games, and you're going to getĀ a chance to play," he said. "I'm just preparingĀ to be at my best when I get the chance."

The goalies' teammates said it didn't matter who got the start.

"They're both really good goaltenders and we're lucky to have them both," center Vinny Lecavalier said.

"Both are similar. They're big and move well, they handle the puck well; they go out and stop it, which helps the D a lot," defenseman Mark Streit said. "They have similar tendencies and they're on the same page as far as playing the puck."

Giroux's take

Flyers captain Claude Giroux watched on TV as Montreal's George Parros fell face-first in a fight with Toronto's Colton Orr on Tuesday and said he felt "a little sick to your stomach."

Giroux added that "you hate to see" injuries, but that "fights are kind of needed to keep everybody honest."

Ticket prices

The Flyers enter the season with the NHL's 15th-highest secondary ticket price at $98, according to Vivid Seats, a secondary- ticket marketplace. Toronto has, by far, the highest median ticket price - $320 - followed by Winnipeg at $230.

Breakaways

The Flyers started the game with Brayden Schenn on the top line with Giroux and Scott Hartnell. Jake Voracek was with third-liners Max Talbot and Sean Couturier. . . . Because he expected a physical game, Laviolette used a hard-nosed fourth line - Adam Hall centering Jay Rosehill and Zac Rinaldo - and Scott Laughton was a healthy scratch.

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