Flyers aren't sure if Mason will play

Flyers goalie Steve Mason. (Tom Mihalek/AP)
Flyers goalie Steve Mason. (Tom Mihalek/AP)
Posted: April 16, 2014

The Flyers are cautiously optimistic that goalie Steve Mason will play in the playoff opener Thursday night against the New York Rangers.

"I feel he will," general manager Paul Holmgren said Monday afternoon, "but you never know. We'll see how he feels in the morning" Tuesday.

Mason was hurt in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Penguins' Jayson Megna knocked Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald into the 6-foot-4 goalie, snapping his head and neck back before he fell to the ice. Mason remained in the game for the final 3 minutes, 33 seconds of the second period before he was replaced by Ray Emery.

Holmgren said the Flyers will decide Tuesday morning if Mason can take part in that day's 10:30 a.m. practice in Voorhees. "It depends how he feels," said Holmgren, who would not comment when asked if a concussion could be ruled out.

Mason is 2-1 with a 2.01 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage against the Rangers this season. Emery is 0-1 with a 4.02 GAA and an .886 save percentage against New York.

But Emery has eye-opening career numbers against the Rangers: a 7-2 record, a 1.87 GAA, and a .936 save percentage.

Hartnell fined

Scott Hartnell was fined $5,000 by the NHL for a spearing incident Sunday against Carolina, but the left winger was not suspended, so he will be available for the opener Thursday in New York.

Hartnell had 20 goals - one of seven Flyers to reach that plateau - and finished tied with Jake Voracek with a team-best plus-11 rating. He and Voracek are wingers on the top line, centered by Claude Giroux (plus-7).

League leaders

Several Flyers finished among the NHL's statistical leaders.

Giroux was third with 86 points; MacDonald was first in blocked shots (242) while Nick Grossmann was tied for eighth (174); Wayne Simmonds finished third with 15 power-play goals; and Luke Schenn was sixth in hits (260) and third among NHL defensemen.

Gostisbehere update

Smooth-skating defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who led tiny Union College to its first NCAA championship, is mulling whether to sign with the Flyers or stay in college for his senior season.

Gostisbehere was asked by the Albany Times Union if he might have more financial leverage if he left college now, rather than waiting until after his senior year.

"I guess you could look at it like that," he said. "But when you graduate, you can pick a different team sometimes, so [it goes] both ways."

Gostisbehere, who turns 21 on Sunday, was selected by the Flyers in the third round of the 2012 draft. The Flyers own his rights until Aug. 15, 2015, according to Holmgren.

Ticket prices

The average Flyers-Rangers playoff ticket is $292, the highest among the NHL playoff series, according to TiqIQ. The average ticket for games in New York is $429, and it is $182 at the Wells Fargo Center.

Breakaways

The Flyers and Rangers are 20-1 to win the Stanley Cup, according to Bovada in Las Vegas. The Bruins, at 7-2, are the favorites. . . . Zac Rinaldo has served his four-game suspension, and coach Craig Berube will have to decide whether to put the winger on the third or fourth line. . . . Rangers agitator Derek Dorsett will have Voracek in his wedding party June 28. They broke into the league as Columbus teammates. "We've been through a lot together," Dorsett, a fourth-line winger, told the New York Daily News. "As rookies, we were a part of the first year the Blue Jackets made the playoffs. There were some tough years after that, and all along it was a tight-knit group."

The Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers' top AHL affiliate, will play at the Glens Falls Civic Center for the final time Friday against Bridgeport. The Phantoms, who end their season Saturday in Hershey, will play in Allentown next season.

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