Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason reaches for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Mason gets pulled, Pavelski scores hat trick in Flyers vs. Sharks


Philadelphia goalie Steve Mason and Sharks forward Joe Pavelski are on two very different paths right now. They intercepted tonight and the results were disastrous for Mason.

The Flyers netminder had been struggling for weeks before he posted a 33-save shutout against Detroit on Jan. 28. That looked like a turning point for him as he went on to allow just three goals over three February games.

Then the Olympic break started and it looks like his forced vacation came at an inopportune time for him. His hot streak now a distant memory, Mason surrendered four goals on 13 shots before being pulled midway through the second period of Philadelphia’s game against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Mason’s fate was cemented after he allowed three goals over the span of 6:24 minutes, including two markers within 35 seconds of each other:

He was replaced by Ray Emery, who wasn’t immediately able to stop the Sharks’ onslaught. Joe Pavelski found the back of the net against him to score his third goal of the second period.

With the hat trick, Pavelski has set a new career-high with 32 goals and plenty of time to spare.

Update: Emery didn’t fare much better, so with a little more than nine minutes left to play, Philadelphia went back to Mason.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.