By Ed Benkin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was the worst kept secret in the Flyers locker room. Steve Mason will start in goal Friday night.
“You guys didn’t figure that out?” Joked Coach Craig Berube.
Berube confirmed Mason will start in Game 4 of the Flyers playoff series with the Rangers. Mason has missed most of the team’s first three games in this series as he recovered from an injury suffered at the end of the regular season.
Mason says he will be ready to go when the puck drops in South Philadelphia on Friday.
“It’s a matter of whether you’re tracking the puck well off of the stick and into your body,” said Mason.
“Towards the end of practice, I felt really sharp. I was moving well and seeing pucks through the screens. I felt pretty good.”
Mason replaced Ray Emery with just over seven minute remaining in Game 3 and said it was nice to get back into a game situation. Mason also admitted it has been difficult watching instead of playing throughout the series.
“Nobody likes to be out with an injury,” Mason said. “It’s playoff time right now and you’ve worked hard all season to get to this point, and to be able to have missed the first three games of this series was disappointing.”
Berube has had confidence in Mason throughout the season and has no doubt Mason will be ready to play in Game 4.
“He’s a talented goalie,” said Berube. “I think he’s gotten better and better throughout the year. He’s just a battler and he’s come up big all year for us.”
While the Flyers expect Mason to play well, there are other areas of concern. The Rangers blocked 28 shots in Game 3 and held the Flyers scoreless on five power play chances. Forward Jake Voracek talked about what has to change Friday night.
“There are a lot of quality players in this locker room,” Voracek said. “It’s up to every player to decide what to do with the puck. You try to create a little bit more. I think it’s about simplifying things.”
Game 4 will get underway at 7:05 p.m. Friday night.