One day after he was so upset that he stormed out of the locker room and refused to talk to reporters, Flyers goalie Steve Mason took accountability for Tuesday's 3-2 shootout loss to Ottawa.
Mason allowed a wraparound goal with 1 minute, 59 seconds left in regulation, sending the game into overtime.
"Sometimes you just have to step away and gather your thoughts. That goal's on me," Mason said after Wednesday's practice in Voorhees. "It put us in a situation where we have to go into overtime and eventually a shootout, and we lost a point there."
By being six inches out of position, it caused him from stopping Kyle Turris' wraparound, Mason said.
"Off the initial rush, I was probably a half of a foot too far out. The position of the goaltender comes down to minuscule things, and that half of a foot ended up changing my entire approach on the play," said Mason, who will try to rebound Thursday against visiting Winnipeg. "If I was a half-foot further back I could have been able to get inside the post. It's science."
If he had to do it over again . . .
"I probably wouldn't have gone down into a full-knee position," he said. "I probably would have gone down on one knee inside the post and would have been able to get a push across. That's the thing, if you don't play one thing right, it translates into the rest of the play, and unfortunately it cost me there."
Now Mason will face a sizzling Winnipeg team that is led by a line that has been the best in the NHL: Rookie center Patrik Laine centering left winger Nikolaj Ehlers (16 points) and right winger Mark Scheifele.
Entering Wednesday, Laine led the NHL with 12 goals, and Scheifele was tied for the league lead with 21 points.
Laine's shot has been compared with Alex Ovechkin's.
"I've seen a lot of video of him - basically on all the highlights. He seems to be on there almost every night," Mason said. "He's obviously got a shot that can be up with the Ovechkins, Brett Hull or whoever you want to call it. He's the type of guy where you have to beat the pass; you can't be getting there as he's already releasing the puck because his shot is obviously too quick to catch up to. You have to get there with your feet set and get a good line of sight on the puck."
Added Mason: "I'm sure we're going to try to take his time and space away. . . . And it's not just him. They have a talented offensive line."
Winnipeg (9-7-2) is on a 4-0-1 roll, and is coming off a 4-0 win over Chicago, while the Flyers (7-7-3) have lost four of their last five.
The Flyers have blown third-period leads in two of their last three games. On Friday, they took a 3-2 lead into the third period in Toronto, which scored four unanswered goals and won, 6-3.
"We let three points slip away" in two of the last three games, Mason said. "In order to become a good team on a consistent basis, in tight hockey games we have to find ways to put games away. We have to get that third goal, we can't let up that second goal."
The irony is that Mason played one of his best games of the season Tuesday and made four difficult stops in the shootout - where he has been more aggressive than in the past - before surrendering Erik Karlsson's game-winner.
"I'm not going to let one play change the outlook of the entire game," Mason said of the late-regulation goal. "I just have to keep building, keep working hard."