NHL Scores: Flyers wasting Steve Mason's efforts; Oilers get blown out

Jim McIsaac

It's a crazy league. Steve Mason is playing great and the Flyers are still 3-8. Meanwhile, Phil Kessel is still awesome.

This season for the Philadelphia Flyers is all backwards. This is all wrong, and not anywhere near the way it should be.

It was supposed to be Steve Mason causing the problems and being the question mark, not the best player on the team and the one guy that you can point to and say, "Yeah, he's doing his job."

But after 11 games, that's exactly where we are. Up is officially down.

Mason did everything he could for the Flyers on Tuesday night, stopping 34 shots, but it wasn't enough as the Flyers just had breakdown after breakdown and completely went into a shell in the third period, turning a 2-0 lead into a 3-2 loss.

The loss drops Philadelphia to 3-8 on the season, which is truly incredible when you consider that the much maligned Mason has a .928 save percentage on the season. If you had told Flyers fans before the season Mason would be off to that type of start and putting up numbers like that they would have probably assumed their team would be in first place. What has to be a concern for the Flyers is that Mason isn't going to keep playing at that level. Not only because he's never really played at that level at any other time in his career, but also because it's a rather unsustainable mark for any goalie.

What's going to happen when he drops off? Well, it's either going to go from bad to worse in Philadelphia as the offense continues to struggle, or the offense picks it up and everything is back to normal (everybody else playing well and the goalie holding them back).

Hockey is a strange, crazy game sometimes.

Elsewhere, the Edmonton Oilers were steamrolled in their own barn on Tuesday night by the Maple Leafs, 4-0, as Phil Kessel recorded a four-point night (two goals, two assists).

Jonathan Toews had a hat trick in Chicago's wild 6-5 win over the Ottawa Senators, while the Islanders dropped Thomas Vanek's debut, 3-2, to the Rangers.

All the NHL Scores

Rangers 3, Islanders 2

Ducks 3, Flyers 2

Canadiens 2, Stars 1

Devils 2, Lightning 1

Blackhawks 6, Senators 5

Blues 3, Jets 2

Maple Leafs 4, Oilers 0

Coyotes 3, Kings 1

Five Questions

On Tuesday we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. These are your cool, soothing answers

1. How will Thomas Vanek perform in his debut?

It certainly wasn't as good as Matt Moulson's debut in Buffalo. Vanek played 19:49 and recorded just one shot on goal in the Islanders' 3-2 loss to the Rangers.


2. Will Philadelphia extend its two-game winning streak?

Nope. We were already over that above. It certainly was a good start for the Flyers, who built a 2-0 lead, but their third period was just a nightmare, from the defensive breakdowns to their inability to create any offense to build on the lead. Steve Mason was strong again, but he's not getting any help.


3. Can Tampa Bay extend its streak?

No. Jaromir Jagr's historic (sort of) goal and Martin Brodeur's classic kick save were enough to stop the Lightning. It wasn't a terribly exciting game, especially for the Lightning, as New Jersey completely suffocated them. This was actually a throwback game for the Devils. Suffocating defense, capitalize on a couple of turnovers, and slow the game down to a snails pace.

4. Will the Rangers score three goals or more against the Islanders?

Yes, thanks to a two-goal third period the Rangers were able to reach the three-goal mark, which was just enough offense for rookie goaltender Cam Talbot.

5. How will Sam Gagner perform in his return for the Oilers?

Not well. Gagner was on the ice for all four of Toronto's goals and didn't exactly look good in the process.

Impact Moment

The one play or moment from Tuesday's games that will be making headlines over the next couple of days

The Chicago Blackhawks are a well-oiled machine and starting to look like an absolute force once again. They overcome a two-goal deficit on Tuesday night thanks in large part to a Toews hat trick. Tuesday's game was already the fourth time this season they've scored at least five goals in a game.

Stat of the Night

Adam Henrique just keeps scoring shorthanded goals. He netted the seventh of his career on Tuesday night, and since the start of the 2011-12 season no player in the NHL has scored more than him. Ilya Kovalchuk, his former teammate, also had seven over that stretch before he returned to Russia. No team is more dangerous on the penalty kill than the New Jersey Devils.

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