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Flyers' Mason doesn't hide from Game 2 mistake

Goaltender ready to turn the page in preparation for Game 3

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason isn't hiding from the fact his one mistake played a big part in a Game 2 loss to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference First Round on Saturday, but he isn't throwing in the towel either.

On Sunday, Mason again answered questions about the 101-foot goal he allowed 2:26 into the second period that gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead. The goal by Jason Chimera turned out to be the game-winner in a 4-1 victory that gave Washington a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"It's a crap goal and it hinders some other things or puts a shadow over other things we did, but you accept the responsibility as a goalie; I'm just tired of talking about it, to be honest," Mason said. "I tried to manage everything the best I could [after the goal], but at the end of the day, things like that can't happen."

The series shifts to Wells Fargo Center for Game 3 on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-PH, CSN-DC). The Flyers have won three previous best-of-7 series in 17 tries when trailing 2-0: against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1977, Pittsburgh Penguins in 2000 and Boston Bruins in 2010.

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm2: Chimera's tip beats Mason from distance

Though Flyers coach Dave Hakstol stopped short of announcing his starting goalie for Monday, he sounded as if he would be going back to Mason.

"[Making a goalie switch] is not something we've talked about," Hakstol said. "As always, we'll make our final decision on the goaltender on game day. But [Mason] has been at a high level for six or seven weeks now, so he's been a real integral part of everything we've done."

When backup Michal Neuvirth sustained a lower-body injury late in the season, Mason played 12 straight games and went 6-4-2 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .926 save percentage to help the Flyers earn the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Mason said he received a lot of support after the game Saturday and looks forward to putting Game 2 behind him. 

"It wasn't my intention to let that goal in, but this is a big family and regardless of it was me making a mistake, or [Claude Giroux] making a mistake, whoever it may be, the boys are there for one another," Mason said. "This has been a real tight series 5-on-5. Overall, I think in Game 2 we carried the play, but our penalty kill has to step up. I have to step on the PK and make some saves, and our power play needs to step up too."

Video: Steve Mason talks about the loss in Game 2

His teammates look forward to helping Mason rebound in Game 3.

"Mason is the reason we're [in the playoffs]," defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. "Goals like that are going to happen. I mean, if you watched two minutes before [that goal], he almost tore his groin making a save (against Nicklas Backstrom). It's going to happen. He's the reason we're here right now, and we're going to pick him up. We have 100 percent confidence in him."

The players and coaches are also looking forward to playing in front of their home fans for the first time since chairman and founder Ed Snider died April 11. A video tribute of Snider is scheduled prior to opening faceoff Monday.

"It was a tough week for the organization, the players and fans, and it'll be something special to be home and remember what [Ed Snider] has done," Giroux said. "We've been successful at home this year; our fans get us motivated. We have to control our emotions but still follow the game plan."

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