S-O-L: Despite Mason’s best effort, Flyers collapse in Columbus, 3-2

After a night of disengaged play, the Flyers let a 2-0 lead get away in Columbus tonight in a game they would really like to have back. A couple of fortuitous bounces gave the Flyers an opportunity to escape Columbus with a valuable 2 points in hand and Philadelphia owed it to their goaltender tonight to bear down in the late stages of a game in which he was masterful, but it was not to be. If there is a positive to take from tonight, it won’t come from this game but rather, will come from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s dominant, 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings so the Flyers will move into the final Eastern Conference wildcard spot.

The Flyers received goals from Claude Giroux (20th) and Ryan White (10th) in the losing cause. The Flyers spent much of their night playing with fire with tons of ill-advised, unforced turnovers in the neutral zone, which would send the Blue Jackets the other way in transition; if Columbus were a better team, they would have likely buried Philadelphia way earlier than they did. I don’t know if fatigued played a factor in the Flyers’ carelessness with the puck but in any event, it needs to improve if the team is going to have one last push for the playoffs in the final 10 games of the season.

Goaltender Steve Mason turned in what should have been a flawless performance as he turned away ridiculous 51 shots in the loss. Once again, Philadelphia owed it to Mason to bear down in the late stages of the game as the club had to expect one last, concerted effort from the Jackets in the waning minutes of the game; the team in general played both Jackets’ goals passively in their end and to be blunt, got what they deserved. It has never been more outright glaring that the Flyers’ shootout woes go further than the goaltender stopping the puck as Mason again gave his team multiple chances to close out the game in the shootout. He deserved such a better fate than he received tonight.

Here is your game notable:

Goaltender Steve Mason set a career-high in saves tonight with 51 in the losing cause.

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