If Steve Mason puts together more nights like these, the Philadelphia Flyers might not need to worry that much about securing a wild card spot.
Mason’s 34-save shutout powered Philly’s 2-0 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, pushing the Flyers ahead of the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot thanks to games in hand:
Flyers – 54 points in 49 games
Bruins – 54 points in 51 games
(The Florida Panthers lead the rest of the bubble with 50 points, while everyone else has 49. See the full standings here.)
The Rangers remain well above the fray in the first wild card spot with 63 points in 49 games, yet Wednesday’s loss had to be frustrating.
The game remained scoreless through two periods even as the Rangers managed a resounding 27-16 shot advantage. Philly took the third with the game’s only two goals and a slight 10-7 shot edge, however.
Wayne Simmmonds’ 20th goal was very, well, Wayne Simmonds. It stood as the game-winner:
It would probably be hasty to put too much of this loss on Henrik Lundqvist, though it likely slows at least some of his recent momentum … and there was no doubt which goalie was the star of this one.
When asked by Pierre McGuire if he felt like there was a specific moment when he felt “in the zone,” Mason said it actually started with his win against the Islanders a few days ago, when he stopped 36 out of 38 shots.
As up-and-down as this season has been for Mason and the Flyers, you may recall how impressive both the goalie and team looked during their 10-game winning streak.
Perhaps this is the beginning of another big push?