ROSTER UPDATE: Steve Mason will dress tonight as back up to starting goaltender Ray Emery.— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 22, 2014
Mason had been practicing with the team the last few days after suffering an upper-body injury last Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mason said Monday he would be out for Game 3, but things must have improved dramatically enough (or it was postseason gamesmanship).
Emery has been solid through two games for the Flyers, particularly in the club's 4-2 win over the Rangers in Game 2, in which Emery made 31 saves.
The Flyers likely hope Emery remains healthy and plays well enough to finish Game 3, but to have their No. 1 back on the bench must be a good feeling.
Mason posted a career-best .917 save percentage to go along with a 2.50 goals-against average and 33 wins, which matched his career-high. He has not played in a playoff game since 2009, when he made four appearances as the Columbus Blue Jackets got swept.
With Mason coming off an injury, his readiness for the rigors of playoff hockey may be uncertain. If Emery can continue playing as he has, giving Mason enough time to be eased back in, the Flyers could have an interesting dilemma on their hands. Either way, it is fairly likely they'd prefer to go with the guy they've ridden all year, but nothing is ever as simple as it seems in the playoffs.
The good news for the Flyers is it appears that they at least have Mason as an option now, which can't hurt.