Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in for Flyers

Steve Mason has been lights out lately, and the Flyers return home Thursday for the first of two before the Olympic break. Credit: Getty Images
Steve Mason will be back in net for the Flyers in Game 4.
Credit: Getty Images

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t say much, but don’t expect any lineup changes.

“Find out tomorrow at 7 o’clock,” Vigneault said, when asked about his lineup following practice at the Garden Thursday morning. “It’s not an 8 o’clock start [as Game 3 was].”

The line combinations and defensive pairings throughout Thursday’s practice were the same as the 4-1 win in Game 3. As such, Vigneault does not have to modify his line because the Rangers are ahead in the series. But his options are limited even if he wanted to. Chris Kreider is not available as he recuperates from a broken hand, Jesper Fast did not distinguish himself in Games 1 and 2 and J.T. Miller does not seem like a recourse Vigneault wants to tap into at this point.

So while it’s likely the Rangers will continue with the status quo, the Flyers announced goaltender Steve Mason will start Game 4 following practice Thursday at their Voorhees, New Jersey training facility.

“Will [Mason] be going [in Game 4]?,” coach Craig Berube said rhetorically, when asked who will start Friday night by reporters following the session. “Yep. You guys [in the media] didn’t figure that out.”

The determination to start Mason Friday is the culmination of a bizarre saga in which the team would not divulge the goaltender’s condition after being run over by teammate Andrew MacDonald and Penguins center Jayson Megna in the second period of the Flyers’ 4-3 overtime win on April 12, but had him dress for Game 3, one day after he said he would not be available.

Mason replaced Ray Emery late in the third period Monday, and stopped all three shots he faced. In three regular season games against the Rangers, Mason was 2-1-0 with a 2.01 goals against average and .937 save percentage. In seven career games against the Rangers for both the Flyers and Blue Jackets, Mason has a 4-1-1 record with a 2.49 goals against average and .928 save percentage.

The Rangers collectively stressed their approach will stay the same despite the switch.

“It’s going to sound like a broken record: We’re not changing much,” Derek Stepan said. “We’re doing the things that [led] us to success in [Games] 1 and 3. That’s what our focus is — making sure that we’re playing the way we need to.”

On the Blue Jacket bandwagon

Ex-Blue Jacket Derek Dorsett is among Columbus’ growing legion of admirers after Wednesday night’s 4-3 overtime win in Game 4 of their Metropolitan Division series against top-seeded Pittsburgh.

That best-of-seven series is tied 2-2 after the Blue Jackets scored the game’s final four goals after spotting the Penguins a 3-0 lead in the first period. This playoff series is only the second in Columbus’ franchise history. The first was a four-game sweep at the hands of the Red Wings in 2008-09.

“They’re playing hard,” Dorsett said. “It’s been a good series. Obviously I [have] some friends on that team so [I] keep an eye on it. They’re doing a good job. [Fall behind 3-0] and they keep battling, come back and get the win, it’s good for them. [The] atmosphere in that rink looked like [it was wild after] the third and fourth [goals].

“When you win, the fans are always behind you. It’s good to see. They deserve it. In Columbus, the fans have stuck with the team for a long time. It’s good to see.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

Movies

Interview: Robert Rodriguez doesn't mind that Jessica Alba…

In making a Hollywood-friendly adaptation of Frank Miller's gritty "Sin City" graphic novel series, Robert Rodriguez learned that some things have to go — namely…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Aug. 20: 'Extant,' 'Legends'…

See a two hour block of Halle Berry's scifi show, "Extant."

The Word

The Word: Mischa Barton in trouble, not that…

  People are really, really worried about Mischa Barton. Again. The former "O.C." star is reportedly in deep financial trouble and can't seem to get…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Food

The Chic Wife tells us how to use…

Kris Schoels, aka The Chic Wife, grew up on a farm with peach trees. August is National Peach Month, but Kris Schoels doesn’t need a reason…