Brilliant goaltending from Steve Mason not enough for Flyers in Game 1 setback

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The Flyers looked out-manned and overmatched in their 2-0Game 1 loss to the Capitals Thursday night.

A multitude of penalties, mistakes and missteps made an outstanding outing from Steve Mason in net irrelevant as Philly looks to regroup for the series’ second game. Mason got a lot of help in the form of blocked shots, but not much offense as the Capitals outshot Philly 31-19and Braden Holtbyrecorded a playoff shutout.

A successful late second-frame penalty kill was extended after a delay of game call put Brandon Manning in the box for delay of game for two more minutes. He wouldn’t serve much of the penalty however, as John Carlson netted a shot to put the Caps ahead 1-0.

In the third the Flyers had more penalties to kill (they would commit nine in all for 20 minutes in the box). But with less than eight minutes to play and with no offense to show for 52 minutes of hockey, Wayne Simmondstook off the gloves and went at it with Tom Wilson, earning each skater fighting majors.

The attempt to swing momentum didn’t rally the troops as Simmonds had hoped, with a turnover in the Flyers zone leading to a Jay Beagle goal to give Washington breathing room up by two.

Questionable officiating was certainly a hindrance to the Flyers’ cause, but a bevy of unforced errors and missed opportunities factored in to their series deficit as well.

Mason was brilliant throughout despite his two blemishes, saving 29Capitals’ shots, single-handedly killing several Washington power plays and giving the Flyers a chance to seek an equalizer.

Adding injury to insult, the fate of Sean Couturier for the rest of the series is unknown as the winger left the ice and did not return with an upper body injury in the second period.

The Caps and Flyers drop the puck for Game 2 Saturday at 7 p.m. If the post-horn scrum after the final horn was any indication, the series is certainly gearing up for more excitement down the line.

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