VOORHEES, N.J. (AP) — Steve Mason kept the Philadelphia Flyers afloat when they struggled early in the season. Now they may have to start the playoffs without their No. 1 goalie.
Mason practiced for 15 minutes before leaving the ice Tuesday, three days after he sustained an upper-body injury during a collision against Pittsburgh. Coach Craig Berube was uncertain whether Mason will play against the New York Rangers on Thursday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.
"I thought he looked decent," Berube said, adding that Mason's brief appearance at practice was planned. "He came out there for a little bit and got some work in, and I thought he looked pretty good."
General manager Paul Holmgren refused to discuss specifics about Mason's injury. He also declined to rule out whether it was a concussion.
"We're at a critical time of our season and I don't feel I need to divulge what's wrong with a player," Holmgren said.
Mason was 33-18-7 with a 2.50 goals-against average and .917 save percentage this season. He helped the Flyers overcome a 1-7 start and coaching change to make the playoffs.
The former NHL Rookie of the Year solidified a position that's been a major problem area for the Flyers, especially in the playoffs. They started two goalies during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010 and dumped Ilya Bryzgalov last summer just two seasons into a $51 million, nine-year deal.
Mason didn't speak to reporters after practice because he was having treatment for his injury.
"I feel better each day and we'll see how I feel tomorrow," Mason told the public relations staff in a text.
If Mason can't play, Ray Emery will start. Emery was 9-12-2 with a 2.96 goals-against average and .903 save percentage this season. He was 17-1 as a backup for the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks last year.