Mason earns 100th career win in victory over Senators

Image courtesy of Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers ended their season with a 2-1 road win against the Ottawa Senators tonight. Steve Mason was the story of the game, as his 43 saves was the highest save total for any Flyers’ goaltender this season. Jason Akeson scored his first goal in the NHL and Jakub Voracek potted the game-winning goal to let Philly end their campaign on a four-game winning streak.

Voracek’s decisive tally came with 9:58 left in regulation on a wrist shot from the circle to Craig Anderson’s left. After the forward carried the disc into the Senators’ zone, Voracek was looking cross ice as if he was going to dish the puck. However, Voracek looked back at the net just before he beat Anderson far post for his 22nd goal of the year.

In a contest where Philadelphia was outshot 44-25, Mason managed to keep several Ottawa scoring chances from finding the back of the net and handing the Flyers their final pair of points in the season.

With a monstrous hit on Voracek and numerous post-whistle scrums, the Flyers and Senators took part in a physical game that ended up going Philly’s way.

Although they were outshot 14-5 in the opening stanza, Akeson put the visitors up by one with his first goal in the NHL.

“It’s pretty exciting just to get the chance to play in an NHL game,” Akeson said after the win. “It’s something I’ll always remember. I got to score a goal and that makes it so much more special.”

After a pass was broken up in the Senators’ zone, the puck was gliding towards Anderson when Claude Giroux dove in an attempt to poke check the disc past the goaltender. Anderson stopped the captain’s chance, as the puck traveled back to the circle to the goalie’s right, where Akeson gained possession of the biscuit and ripped it off iron to beat Anderson’s glove. Akeson’s tally in his first NHL game came 3:46 into the contest.

The rest of the first frame belonged to Mason, as he prevented the Sens from leveling the score despite the fact most of the period was spent in Philly’s zone and the road team had to kill off a pair of penalties.

Ottawa tied the game in the second period though thanks to Kyle Turris’ 11th of 2013.

Chris Phillips jumped on a loose puck in the corner to Mason’s left and threw it towards the slot. After the disc glanced off of Colin Greening it moved to Turris, who launched a wrister past Mason’s blocker from the bottom of the circles to make it 1-1 just 4:35 into the middle frame.

Mason helped the Flyers escape another period where they were outshot heavily, as the Orange and Black had five shots to Ottawa’s 10 while the squads entered the final period tied at one.

The third period started with a huge scrum in front of the Flyers’ bench. The massive skirmish led to 10-minute misconducts for Jay Rosehill and Oliver Lauridsen, as well as Chris Neil and Matt Kassian 1:13 into the third stanza.

Later in the period, 25 seconds after Voracek’s game-winning goal, the forward was sent to the sin bin for tripping Milan Michalek in the Senators’ zone.

Mason helped the Flyers kill off Voracek’s penalty and made several huge saves in the game’s final minutes to let Philly hang on for the one-goal win. The former Columbus Blue Jacket’s biggest save came on an attempt from Michalek in the circle to his left.

After a cross-ice pass found its way through traffic in the slot to Michalek, the forward took a half-second to possess the disc before ripping one high towards the cage. Mason was able to move from his right to his left quickly before he put a blocker on Michalek’s shot and gloved it for a whistle after the puck popped up following his save.

Despite the fact they missed the playoffs and were plagued by injuries, the Orange and Black managed to finish the season over .500 with a record of 23-22-3. With the NHL Draft and an offseason coming within the next few months, the Flyers will make the changes needed to return to the postseason in 2014.

Notes: With the win, the Flyers were able to break the .500 mark for the first time this season…The Flyers were outshot by 19 in tonight’s win. It’s the most they’ve been outshot in a game since the New Jersey Devils outshot them 43-22 in Game 4 of last year’s ECSF…In addition to his first goal in the NHL, Akeson was plus-2 with two takeaways in 12:23 TOI…Giroux’s assist on Akeson’s goal was his 200th in the NHL…With the secondary assist on Turris’ goal, Phillips recorded his 200th helper in the NHL…The Flyers killed off 23 straight penalties to end this season, as they went 5-for-5 in tonight’s win…Tonight was Mason’s 100th win in the NHL and his fourth as a Flyer. He registered a .944 save percentage and 1.90 GAA with Philly this season…The Flyers finished 2-1-0 against the Senators in the 2013 and 8-7-0 against the Northeast Division (MTL 2-1-0, BOS 2-1-0, TOR 1-2-0, OTT 2-1-0, BUF 1-2-0)…The Flyers finished the season 23-22-3. They were 29-14-5 after 48 games last year.