Rick Nash, Steve Mason, Mark Streit

Mason stops 37 for first playoff win, Flyers even series with Rangers


Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason has his first postseason victory, but it didn’t come easy. After missing the start of the playoffs due to an upper-body injury, Mason kicked out 37 of 38 shots tonight to lead Philadelphia to a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers.

The game certainly didn’t have a good start for the Flyers as Mason was beaten early by Rangers forward Dominic Moore on a wraparound.

That goal looked preventable for Mason, but it was the only blemish for the 25-year-old goalie. Philadelphia was out-shot 16-6 in the first period, but they entered the intermission tied thanks to their netminder’s efforts.

Jakub Voracek scored a power-play goal at 7:22 of the second period to put Philadelphia on top tonight.

It seems appropriate that Mason’s first playoff victory comes during the same round as the Columbus Blue Jackets’ first franchise win in the postseason. Until this year, Mason and the Blue Jackets had only ever made the playoffs in 2009 when they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.

The only bad news for Philadelphia is that defenseman Nicklas Grossmann was hurt when he fell awkwardly into the boards early in the second period. He missed the remainder of the game due to a lower-body injury.

The series is now tied at 2-2 ahead of Game 5 in New York on Sunday (3:00 p.m. ET, NBC).

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.