VANCOUVER – Steve Mason had a busy night Monday, but he was not complaining.
The Philadelphia goaltender posted 41 saves as he backstopped the Flyers to a comeback 4-3 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks.
“It was the first time in a long time that we have given up over 30 shots, so I actually enjoyed it,” said Mason. “It was nice to get into a game and feel like you are doing something out there.”
Vincent Lecavalier scored the shootout winner as the Flyers prevailed after trailing 2-1 in the second period and 3-2 late in the third.
Lecavalier scored on a deke on Philadelphia’s first attempt and three Vancouver shooters could not beat Mason as the Flyers (19-16-4) posted their third straight win and sixth in eight games.
The Canucks (23-11-7) suffered only their third loss in the past eight games. But more significantly, Vancouver missed a chance to move into a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference after the Kings lost earlier Monday to Chicago.
“I thought we played good to get a point, but it pisses me off we don’t get two,” said Vancouver coach John Tortorella.
The Flyers have not lost in Vancouver in nearly 14 years, with their last setback coming Dec. 31, 1989, but they were in danger of suffering another loss here for most of the game.
Mark Streit, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn also scored for the Flyers. Giroux also had an assist and further bolstered his chances of playing for Canada’s Olympic team as he extended his point streak to nine games.
Brayden Schenn forced overtime and the shootout as he scored in the final minute of the third period after Daniel Sedin put the Canucks ahead with less than three minutes remaining. Schenn made up for a miscue by his older brother Luke, who inadvertently put the puck into his own net after Mason got his blocker on Daniel Sedin’s long shot from near the blue-line.
“I guess (there was) a little brotherly love there,” said Mason. “Luke was just trying to get back to the net there and I was putting my rebound where I wanted to and just an unfortunate bounce, things like that happen. (It’s) just unfortunate it put us in that position.”
Tom Sestito and Jannik Hansen had Vancouver’s other goals. Hansen was less than pleased after the Canucks lost despite outshooting the Flyers 44-27.
“This game had no business going into overtime,” said Hansen. “We should have closed this out quite earlier.…We need to score on our chances. It’s not because we don’t have them. We had quality opportunities in the third and even in overtime to get it done before the shootout.”
Mason, who recorded 42 saves, now has matched the 16 wins he produced with Columbus in 2011-12, when a full campaign was last played. Vancouver counterpart Eddie Lack, making his second consecutive start and third appearance in place of injured No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo, finished with 25 saves.
Tortorella was pleased that his club earned three of a possible four points in back-to-back games after earning a win the night before in Calgary. But he was angry that his team failed to control a key face-off prior to Brayden Schenn’s tying goal.
“The mistake on the face-off, that’s aggravating,” said Tortorella. “That’s what keeps you out of playoffs, plays like that, the details, the face-offs. I thought we played our ass off back-to-back. We created a tremendous amount of scoring chances, but you kick yourself in the teeth for the lack of detail on the face-off.”
Vancouver could not score on its four power plays while Philadelphia was blanked on its three.
The Flyers led 1-0 after the first period and the clubs were tied 2-2 following the second.
Streit opened the scoring at 15:24 of the first period, putting in a backhand shot as the puck came to him after Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis denied Michael Raffl on a wraparound attempt.
Sestito, a fourth-liner wanted mostly for his toughness, forged a 1-1 tie at 4:24 of the second period as he put in a Hamhuis rebound.
With just under five minutes left in the second, Lack took a Wayne Simmonds shot to the mask. Despite losing his headgear on the play, Lack came up smiling and showed no ill effects.
Less than a minute later, Hansen put the Canucks ahead 2-1 as he completed a nifty give-and-go with Daniel Sedin and tapped the puck into an open net. But Giroux pulled the Flyers even about two minutes later as took a lead pass from Raffl, fought his way up the middle through Hamhuis and Chris Tanev, and flicked the puck behind Lack from in close.
Mason’s late stellar stops included denying Daniel Sedin on a breakaway early in the third and Ryan Kesler twice in the final minute of overtime.
“Same story as the start of the year,” said Giroux. “He kept us in the games and now to kind of get a win for him, it’s huge.”
Notes: Luongo worked out with Canucks goaltending coach Roland Melanson during a morning skate that involved a few players, including injured defenceman Alex Edler (undisclosed).…Simmonds was denied a chance to become the first Flyer to score multiple goals in four consecutive games in the 46-season history of the Philadelphia franchise. Reggie Leach (1976 and 1981) and Ross Lonsberry (1976) are the only other Flyers to record two or more goals in three straight games.…Defenceman Frank Corrado played his first game for Vancouver this season after being called up from Utica of the AHL earlier in the day. He replaced Andrew Alberts, who was injured Sunday on a high hit from Brian McGrattan in Calgary. McGrattan was assessed an elbowing major and game misconduct for the infraction. Corrado played for the Canucks late in the regular season and playoffs last season after playing his final junior campaign in the OHL.…Canucks captain Henrik Sedin played in his 670th consecutive NHL game.