NEW YORK - Steve Mason allowed two second-period goals Wednesday night, and it may have been his best showing in the Flyers' first-round playoff series with the New York Rangers.
And that is saying something.
The Flyers goalie followed up a spectacular Game 6 with a sensational performance in Game 7, but his teammates couldn't quite follow his lead.
The team's season ended in a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
"Mace played unbelievably to keep us in the game," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.
The Rangers move on to face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers will dwell on the fact that they gave this game away in the second period, despite the play of Mason.
The goalie didn't start the first three games of the series and appeared in only 7 minutes, 15 seconds of Game 3 because of an upper-body injury. He finally disclosed the injury.
"It was a concussion," he said.
After a scoreless first period, the Rangers scored twice in the second, but they could have gone for nearly a touchdown had it not been for Mason.
"I tried to calm it down and make the saves that I was able to make and hoped to weather the storm, but they were able to capitalize on two chances, and that was all they needed," Mason said of the second period.
For the two goals, he couldn't be faulted. On the first, the puck went past Flyers defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Braydon Coburn before former Flyer Dan Carcillo scored from in front of the net.
The second was a great pass in the corner from Derick Brassard to Beniot Pouliot, who one-timed it in.
The Rangers outshot the Flyers, 18-5, in the second period, and many came from just in front of Mason.
Pick your favorite Mason save that period; they were plentiful.
There was the stop on a Rick Nash shorthanded break. Or the spectacular stop of a Martin St. Louis one-timer. Mason made a save of a St. Louis wraparound and Derek Stepan rebound.
He stoned Brian Boyle in front of the goal.
There were others.
"I thought it could have been four or five to nothing in the second period, but Mason made some great saves for them just to keep it at 2-0," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said.
Mason's performance came on the heels of Tuesday's sensational effort in the Flyers' 5-2 win.
And Mason also stood on his head during Friday's 2-1 victory in Game 4 when he made 37 saves.
The Rangers were expected to have a serious advantage in goal with Henrik Lundqvist.
That never happened.
No doubt, Mason and the Flyers will look back at the second period of their final game and wonder how things could have been different.
"In the second period, they took it to us," Mason said. "We had trouble breaking out of our zone, and they had odd-man rushes, and we seemed to be spinning our wheels."
Everybody but the goalie, that is.
"When you look at it, the 20 minutes in the second period really cost us," Mason said. "The third period, we were taking it to them."
By then it was too late, but the Flyers had the chance thanks to Mason's outstanding effort, one of many during a stellar postseason.