Friday, December 19, 2014

Mason suffers apparent back injury, out at least two games

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason left a Friday practice session with an upper-body injury and is expected to miss his club's back-to-back games in Toronto and Winnipeg this weekend.

Mason, who made 31 saves in Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers, appeared to suffer some kind of spasm, which was severe enough that he had to be taken off the ice by team personnel.

Timing of this injury to the Philly starter could not have been worse, with the Flyers about to embark on an eight-game holiday road trip mired in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division at 11-14-6.

The road trip kicks off Saturday against the Maple Leafs and in a quick turnaround, heads to Manitoba's capital on Sunday before heading to the Twin Cities on Dec. 23. Following a four-day Christmas break, the swing resumes in Nashville and continues through Jan. 3.

Mason has gone just 6-10-5 this season, but holds a goals-against average of 2.49 and .921 save percentage.

Though the club has not made it official, it is expected that Rob Zepp -- the starting netminder for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL -- will be recalled to back up Ray Emery.

Should Zepp get the call, he'd be in line to make his first NHL start after 14 professional seasons, in a career which began in 2001 with Florida of the ECHL and took him to Finland and Germany before coming back to North America this season.

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