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Mason says he's not worried after bad outing

Goalie Steve Mason, the Flyers' unquestioned MVP this season, is taking his first slump with his new team in stride.

Flyers goalie Steve Mason. (Alex Brandon/AP)
Flyers goalie Steve Mason. (Alex Brandon/AP)Read more

Goalie Steve Mason, the Flyers' unquestioned MVP this season, is taking his first slump with his new team in stride.

There is no panic in his voice, no worry that he is reverting to his struggling days in Columbus.

"Nothing to lose sleep over," the goalie said with a smile Monday after practice at the Wells Fargo Center.

Mason, 25, has stolen points for the Flyers this year with his outstanding goaltending, but he struggled in Sunday's 5-4 shootout loss in Washington.

The Flyers blew a 4-1 lead with fewer than nine minutes remaining in regulation.

Not all of the goals were Mason's fault - there were screens and deflections he had to deal with - but he wasn't his usual sharp self late in the game, and his botched clearing attempt led to Alex Ovechkin's tying goal with 47.9 seconds left in regulation.

Mason then was beaten on two of the three shootout shots.

"Overall, we played a pretty sound game. It was just in the last 10 minutes, we got away from what we were doing the rest of the game and it cost us," Mason said. "I just looked at the tape and there's a lot of good things, so there's nothing to worry about."

Mason would like to face the Capitals on Tuesday when the teams play again, this time at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers have a six-game home winning streak.

"If you do have a bad game, you can come right back and have a little bit of redemption," Mason said. "They're going to probably be just as hungry because they probably feel they were lucky to come back to get at least a point and then two points. I think we're going to expect an even better game from them as well."

Coach Craig Berube would not reveal his goalie for Tuesday, saying he could "go with our plan and stick to it."

If Mason doesn't get the start, Ray Emery will make his first appearance since allowing six goals in 41 minutes in a 7-2 loss in Chicago on Wednesday.

Overall, Mason has a 2.35 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. In his last five games, however, he has a 3.37 goals-against average and a .882 save percentage.

"Call it a couple of bad-luck goals, but it's nothing I'm too worried about," Mason said. "There's been so many positive things, and just because a couple of goals have gone in, I'm not going to stray from what has been working. It's a long season and those things are going to happen; it's just how you handle that little bit of adversity."

In some recent games, Mason said, he was coming out of the net six inches farther than earlier in the season. He made some adjustments with goalie coach Jeff Reese and followed with a 2-1 win over Montreal before Sunday's loss in Washington.

"We just have to make sure you don't let your guard down for even a minute, because a team like Washington, they can bite you in the butt," he said.

Mason downplayed the team's recent defensive shortcomings. In the last four road games, the Flyers have allowed a combined 20 goals.

"It's a couple of games in a larger picture, so I don't think it's anything to lose much sleep over," he said. "Obviously, there are some things that can be cleaned up, but at practice [Monday] the idea was to work on things that got out of the way toward the end."