“Stone Cold” Steve Mason saves Flyers season, Blanking the Avs 4-0


When the Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche meet in the city of Brotherly Love on Tuesday night, it will be interesting to see which players are not on the roster as the NHL trade deadline nears. Both teams enter the contest out of the playoff picture, and are potential sellers ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline.

The Flyers (28-26-7, 63 points) have lost the last four of their last five games, and have fallen six points out of a playoff spot. They have been outscored 8-3 in consecutive losses to their division rivals Washington and Pittsburgh.

On Monday after practice Sean Couturier stated,Something has to change for sure. We have to create more scoring chances. We are shooting a lot of pucks, but a lot of pucks are from the outside. We have to find a way to bring those pucks inside, and create some quality chances. Something has to happen. We believe in ourselves.”

Goaltender Steve Mason who has watched Michal Neuvirth start the past seven games, finally got the nod for the Flyers. Whether it was Mason or Couturier’s strong leadership, the Flyers were flat out dominant cruising to a 4-0 victory. Mason made 32 saves to preserve the shutout, pulling the Flyers within four points of the last playoff spot.

The Flyers came out of the gate flying. They had some early quality scoring chances, but Jeremy Smith made some key saves keeping the game scoreless.

Claude Giroux took the first penalty of the night at 17:23 of the opening stanza. The Avalanche had trouble gaining entry into the Flyers zone throughout the power play. The best scoring chance came from the Flyers on a 3 on 1 rush. Wayne Simmonds led a rush with Couturier and Read. Simmonds was able to deposit the puck past Smith for a 1-0 lead. It was Simmond’s 26th goal of the year, and first shorthanded goal of his career.

Just 7:20 into the opening frame, the Flyers were clicking on all cylinders. Fedor Tyutin took a hooking penalty, giving the Flyers another power play. Just 9 seconds into the power play, Simmonds scored off a redirection from a point shot by Andrew MacDonald. This gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead. It was the “Wayne Train’s” 2nd goal of the night, and 27th goal of the year.

Joe Colborne took the 2nd penalty of the night for the Avalanche. On the ensuing power play, Simmonds appeared to complete the natural hat trick putting the Flyers up 3-0. Unfortunately, the goal was credited to Jakub Voracek for his 17th of the year. Voracek took a shot on net, and the puck went off Gabriel Landeskog’s skate past Smith for a 3-0 Flyers lead.

Mark Streit took a hooking penalty with 2:23 remaining in the first period. The Flyers penalty killers did a good job in sealing off the passing lanes, and the Avalanche only registered one shot on net. Mason made the easy save keeping the score 3-0 Flyers.

The first period came to a close with the Flyers leading the Avalanche 3-0. They outshot the Avalanche 14-11, and won the faceoff margin 72%-28%.

“Stone Cold” Steve Mason was called upon to make a big save early in the second period. Mikko Rantanen was granted a penalty shot, after Radko Gudas drug him down to the ice as he had a mini breakaway on Mason. Mason was up to the task making the save on the penalty shot keeping the Avalanche off the score board.

At 12:44 in the second period, Radko Gudas took a slap shot from the point. Jordan Weal was able to redirect the puck past Smith for his first NHL goal, giving the Flyers a 4-0 lead.

Chris Vandevelde took a cross checking penalty with 7:07 remaining in the second period. On the ensuing power play, the Avalanche managed three quality scoring chances, but Mason made all three saves keeping the score 4-0 Flyers.

The Avalanche seemed to find their skating legs midway through the second period. However, they were called for a too many men on the ice penalty with 5:11 left in the second period. The Flyers sustained heavy pressure in the Avalanche zone, but Smith stood tall making four saves keeping the score 4-0 Flyers.

The second period ended with the Flyers leading 4-0. They were outshot for the period 11-7, but the Flyers won the faceoff margin 52%-48%.

Midway through the third period, both teams only had one shot on net a piece. This was good news for the Flyers, as they had the four goal lead.

Jordan Weal took a slashing penalty with 5:58 remaining in the third period. On the ensuing power play, the Avalanche maintained good puck movement registering three shots on net. Mason made all three saves keeping the game 4-0 Flyers.

The game came to a close with the Flyers blanking the Avalanche 4-0. The Avalanche outshot the Flyers 32-26, but the Flyers won the faceoff margin 52%-48%.

A great team effort, great defensive effort, and a stellar game from the “Stone Cold” Steve Mason saves the Flyers season. They are now four points out of the last playoff spot. Hopefully the Flyers can build off this win, as they host the Florida Panthers on Thursday night at 7 pm. Follow me on Twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports