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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 6:33 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Mason in Flyers lineup, to back up Emery

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason will return to the lineup Tuesday and serve as the backup to Ray Emery in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, SNET-360, MSG, CSN-PH).

It will be Mason's first time in the lineup since sustaining an upper-body injury April 12 against the Pittsburgh Penguins when Pittsburgh forward Jayson Megna pushed Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald into Mason.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 12:41 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers hope to see Giroux create more offensively

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Forward Claude Giroux took a hard tumble into the boards during the Philadelphia Flyers' morning skate Tuesday but popped right back up and said afterward he felt fine.

The Flyers hope he feels just as good after they face the New York Rangers on Tuesday in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, SNET-360, MSG, CSN-PH).

The best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series is tied 1-1, but Giroux has zero shots. He does have an assist and a plus-3 rating, but for a player who finished third in the NHL in scoring with 86 points and tied his career-best with 28 goals, the hope is there's more offense for him to contribute.

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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 3:09 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers focused on solving home power-play woes

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers fans have gained a bit of a reputation over the years for their raucous behavior at Wells Fargo Center. Could it be affecting how the team performs on the power play?

"It's a little harder when 19,000 people yell shoot after 20 seconds on the power play," forward Jakub Voracek said.

The Flyers had the 25th-ranked power play at home during the regular season at 15.1 percent. After the Olympic break it was 9-for-56 (16.1 percent) in 14 games at Wells Fargo Center; however, that includes a 2-for-6 effort in the final two home games against the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes, teams that missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 12 games against teams that were playoff contenders, it went 7-for-50 (14.0 percent).

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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers' Mason not ready; Emery to start Game 3

VOORHEES, NJ -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason ruled himself out of Game 3 of the team's Eastern Conference First Round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the New York Rangers on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, MSG, CSN-PH).

Ray Emery, who made 31 saves in a Game 2 win Sunday and has a .913 save percentage for the series, will start, with rookie Calvin Heeter as his backup.

Mason, who is listed by the team as day-to-day with an upper-body injury, skated for about 45 minutes Monday, on his own and as part of the team's optional practice. He said he felt better but not well enough to dress for Game 3.

"You know how you feel when you're done practice," he said. "I feel good with the goaltending part of the practice, but there's other things that are affecting the decision."

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Posted On Friday, 04.18.2014 / 1:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers' Mason skates, but questionable for Game 2

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason was on the ice with teammates at an optional practice Friday but his availability for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Sunday (Noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS) remains unknown.

Mason has not played since sustaining an upper-body injury Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins and his hour-long session Friday was the first time he skated with teammates since Tuesday.

"Felt pretty good for being on the ice for the first time in a couple days," Mason said. "It was a good step."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers' Raffl, Akeson eager to make playoff debuts

NEW YORK -- Growing up in Austria, Philadelphia Flyers forward Michael Raffl said he tried to follow the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but with the time difference it was difficult. His teammate, forward Jason Akeson, had easier access to the NHL as a child in Ottawa.

On Thursday they will find out what the NHL postseason is really like when the Flyers face the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG).

"It's great," Raffl said. "I feel like a child before Christmas. Just want to get out there."

Raffl had 68 regular-season games to acclimate himself to life and hockey in North America, but said he's sensed things have changed now that the postseason has started.

"You feel it," he said. "It's something special, like a new season starting."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 1:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers' top line ready for Rangers' defensive pressure

NEW YORK -- One of the more interesting games within the game will come when the Philadelphia Flyers deploy their top line of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek against the New York Rangers' top defense pair of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi.

With Game 1 of the First Round Stanley Cup Playoff series Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG) at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers have the advantage of having the last change.

Said Hartnell on what he's learned from four regular-season games against McDonagh and Girardi: "How good they are, especially here."

In four games against the Flyers this season, McDonagh had one goal, one assist and a plus-2 rating, while Girardi had no points and an even plus/minus rating.

"We have to get it behind them, make them go 200 feet, be physical on them every chance you get," Hartnell said. "In a seven-game series that's wear and tear on them. If we're not turning pucks over, especially our line, against those two guys we'll be fairly effective."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 12:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Mason to join Flyers in New York on Friday

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason will join the team here Friday, according to coach Craig Berube.

Mason was ruled out of Game 1 of the Flyers' Eastern Conference First Round series Thursday against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG) due to an upper-body injury sustained Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Game 2 is Sunday (Noon ET, NBC, TSN, RDS).

"He is doing better [Thursday] and he'll be joining the hockey team," Berube said.


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Posted On Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Emery to start Game 1 for Flyers with Mason out

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Goalie Ray Emery will start for the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday in Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN) at Madison Square Garden.

Starting goaltender Steve Mason is out with an upper-body injury sustained Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He remains listed as day-to-day. Flyers coach Craig Berube said Mason will not travel with the team to New York on Wednesday afternoon and instead stay behind to receive treatment.

Berube said Tuesday he expected Mason to join the Flyers for practice Wednesday but Mason never made it to the facility. Mason was on the ice for about 40 minutes Tuesday, but most of that time was spent doing individual work with goalie coach Jeff Reese. Mason spent about 15 minutes with the full team.

"[Mason] just didn't feel good," Berube said Wednesday. "It's precautionary. We're doing what we can to help him do what's best. ... He's a day-to-day thing. Not ready to go. That's it. He's not ready to go, so he's not playing."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 3:40 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers' newcomer Akeson could get call vs. Rangers

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Jason Akeson was hoping all season he would get the call, the one that would summon the 23-year-old from the American Hockey League to the Philadelphia Flyers.

But as the days left in the regular season wound down, he gave it less and less of a chance of it happening.

A week later, Akeson finds himself on the cusp of starting his first Stanley Cup Playoff game when the Flyers open the Eastern Conference First Round at the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN).

"A couple weeks ago if you asked me I never would have told you I'd be here," Akeson said after practice Tuesday. "So it's pretty special."

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens