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 will start for Flyers in Game 4 vs. Rangers


Not a huge surprise, but Steve Mason is officially starting for the Flyers in Game 4 of their opening round series against the Rangers on Friday.

Philly head coach Craig Berube confirmed the move this morning, marking a return to the starter’s goal for Mason after Ray Emery got the nod for the opening three games of the series. Mason had been sidelined since suffering an upper-body injury in the final weekend of the regular season, but did come on in relief of Emery for the final seven minutes of Tuesday’s 4-1 loss.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Flyers respond to Mason’s return. He was solid this year, going 33-18-7 with a .917 save percentage and 2.50 GAA. More importantly, though, might be his splits against the Rangers this year — the 25-year-old went 2-1-0 with a .937 save percentage and 2.01 GAA, with both of those wins coming at Wells Fargo.



Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…