Steve Mason open to re-signing with Flyers, but doesn't want platoon role

Steve Mason open to re-signing with Flyers, but doesn't want platoon role

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Steve Mason had his exit interview with Ron Hextall on Tuesday afternoon.

Hextall made no commitment on whether his goaltender will be back next fall.

"They are well aware of where I stand, they have to make their choice," Mason said at the team's breakup day at Flyers Skate Zone. "Hexy kind of left it as we're not closing the door. They have to figure some things out.

"Whatever those things are, I'm not aware of. I just told Hexy, 'Do me the favor and make the decision as soon as possible,' because I have other things to take care of. A house and moving things."

Every previous indication from the Flyers was they are parting ways with Mason, who picked up his 200th career win against Columbus over the final weekend of the season.

Mason, however, made it fairly clear to the Flyers' general manager that goalie platooning doesn't work and if coach Dave Hakstol wants to continue platooning, then he wants no part of coming back to the Flyers.

Mason said how Hakstol used him at the end -- as the Flyers' defined No. 1 -- saw him produce some of his best net play in his career. The season began as a platoon situation between Mason and Michal Neuvirth.

Over his final 17 starts, Mason was 10-5-2 with a 2.14 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and two shutouts.

His first half was harmed by a left hand injury, which he admitted lingered into January and that he had a stretch of games in which he got worn down -- playing all through December right into the All-Star break -- before Neuvirth got the net and No. 1 (more on Neuvirth here).

"Coming into the season, with Neuvy getting the nod as the No. 1 guy, then fine, you just need to have ... for both of our sakes, you need to have defined roles," Mason said.

In training camp, Hextall said that having Mason and Neuvirth was like having two No. 1 goalies and it was a position of "strength" on the team. Mason said the mini-competition this season -- both were vying for contract renewals -- was flawed.

"Doesn't work," Mason said. "And it's shown throughout the league, it doesn't work. Tampa got rid of their situation. St. Louis got rid of their situation. It's got nothing to do with Neuvy and I as people. I've got no issues with Neuvy. It doesn't work for the goaltending position."

Others would suggest it's a mental thing. Mason showed during his four seasons here that he's a better goalie when he's not looking over his shoulder and knows it's his net.

"It's not mentality, it's the way the position is played," Mason said. "You can't be in and out, in and out. You have to have the flow. I believe, given that flow, I've done well with it.

"Every single team needs a defined starter and backup goalie. Just having that clarity would have simplified it a lot. At the end of the season, having that clarity, the results showed."

Mason's insecurity about the rotation is likely something that the organization feels is a character weakness and goes to mental strength in overcoming such.

Mason said Hakstol agreed with him that once he found the "clarity" of knowing he was No. 1, things worked out better overall for the club.

Asked whether he sensed Hextall might be more flexible to the idea of eliminating a goalie platoon moving forward, Mason said the proof is there for Hextall to see.

"It's a better question for him," Mason said. "I don't believe it's an effective way. I don't think it would work out. I think he probably is [open to the idea]. He's seen the results this year. They weren't what we wanted or what we needed."

Mason said he never "thought it would come down to this," on whether he would be re-signed. He said he envisioned "a number of years here and not having to answer these questions."

"I was looking forward to being here a few more years," he said.

As for working with Anthony Stolarz at the end, Mason said they had a "great working relationship" and felt he had helped him this season.

"If there's a scenario next year where it's Stolie and myself, I would enjoy working with him," Mason said.

Milestone night for Boyle sparks Devils' win

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Milestone night for Boyle sparks Devils' win

NEWARK, N.J. -- Brian Boyle broke a tie with his 100th career goal and added an empty-netter and an assist to help the New Jersey Devils beat the Dallas Stars 5-2 on Friday night.

Steven Santini, Blake Coleman and Nick Lappin also scored for the Devils, and Corey Schneider made 28 saves.

Martin Hanzal and Alexander Radulov scored for Dallas.

Midway through Stephen Johns' double-minor for high-sticking, Devils fans booed the team's power-play effort. Boyle responded by knocking in a rebound from the crease off of Will Butcher's shot to give the Devils a 3-2 lead with 3:21 left in the period.

Boyle assisted on Lappin's goal midway through the third period and completed the scoring with the empty-net goal (see full recap).

Nash, Rangers push past Kings
NEW YORK -- Rick Nash scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:27 remaining to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.

Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller also scored to help New York win for the second time in five games (2-2-1). Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 shots.

On the go-ahead goal, Nash stole the puck in the Kings' zone on the left side near the center line, drove into the left circle and beat Quick for his ninth of the season to give the Rangers their third lead of the game.

Miller added an empty-netter with 54 seconds remaining, sealing New York's 11th win in the last 13 at home (11-1-1) (see full recap).

Red Wings earn much-needed win
DETROIT -- Trevor Daley scored a tiebreaking, short-handed goal midway through the second period and the Detroit Red Wings went on to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Friday night.

Jimmy Howard had 25 saves for the Red Wings. They had won only one of their previous 11 games.

The Maple Leafs lost their third straight, matching a season high. Toronto was without star center Auston Matthews for a fourth straight game because of an upper-body injury.

Curtis McElhinney stopped 26 shots for Toronto.

The Maple Leafs' Andreas Borgman opened the scoring 1:58 into the game.

Detroit's Danny DeKeyser pulled the Red Wings into a tie early in the first. Tomas Tatar's power-goal goal gave them a two-goal cushion they needed after losing the last two games after having a one-goal lead in the third period (see full recap).

Get in the holiday spirit with the Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers

Get in the holiday spirit with the Flyers

Before the Flyers get in the spirit for a sixth straight win on Saturday night, they’ll get you in the holiday spirit, too.

Prior to puck drop against the Stars on NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Flyers will put on a unique holiday-themed light show, which will illuminate the Wells Fargo Center and its ice.

The “Holiday Light Spectacular,” which is presented by the Rothman Institute at Jefferson, will be a 10-minute show starting at 7 p.m., as all fans will be given light-up bracelets to complement a fun Flyers holiday video featured on the ice.

“This show is a new, can’t-miss holiday attraction in Philadelphia and one that we hope becomes an annual tradition for us,” Shawn Tilger, the Flyers’ executive vice president, chief operating officer, alternate governor, said in a release by the team. “This show is in line with the holiday staples of the region, and we’re excited to bring entertainment of this caliber to Flyers fans here on Saturday night.”

For fans with youngsters, Santa Claus will also be in attendance, taking free photos on the main concourse.