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Mason joins Flyers for practice, uncertain for Game 1

by Adam Kimelman

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason joined the team for practice Tuesday as it prepares for its Stanley Cup Playoff series against the New York Rangers, but the Flyers remain unsure if their top goaltender will be available for the start of the postseason.

Mason sustained an upper-body injury with 2:33 left in the second period Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins when teammate Andrew MacDonald was pushed into him by Penguins forward Jayson Megna. Mason played the remainder of the period but Ray Emery came on in relief to start the third.

"I feel better each day and we'll see how I feel [Wednesday]," Mason said via the Flyers public relations department. He opted not to speak to the media after practice.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said no decision on Mason's status for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Rangers on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN) would be made until Wednesday.

"I thought it was good to see him out there," Holmgren said. "I thought he looked OK. ... We've just got to take it a day at a time. We'll know more [Wednesday]."

Coach Craig Berube said he thought Mason had made positive strides.

"I thought he looked decent," he said. "Came out for a little bit and practiced. Got some work in. Thought he looked pretty good."

Mason was on the ice for approximately 40 minutes Tuesday but the majority of that time was with goaltending coach Jeff Reese and teammates Zac Rinaldo and Michael Raffl prior to the start of practice. Once the full team came on the ice, Mason left after about 15 minutes.

Berube said that was the plan put in place prior to practice and when Mason left he felt fine.

"We didn't want him out there very long," Berube said. "Just wanted to get him out there, get some shots, let him get a feel and see how he felt. ...

"We will increase [ice time] probably [Wednesday] But again, it's how he feels."

Mason's teammates said Tuesday he looked like the same goaltender who won 33 games during the regular season.

"I know I didn't score a goal on him," Matt Read said. "He looked like he was back to himself, looks healthy. He's a hard-working guy. He's going to be out there trying to get better, try to get ready for Game 1."


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