Goalie Steve Mason shines as Flyers sweep Penguins

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Pittsburgh, PA, United States (4E Sports) – Steve Mason stopped 20 shots, including a key save with 31 seconds remaining, to carry the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday at Consol Energy Center.

After facing 12 shots through the first two periods, Mason made 11 saves in the third to preserve the Flyers’ one-goal lead en route to a weekend sweep of the Penguins.

Sidney Crosby had a chance to tie the game with 31 seconds remaining, but Mason stopped the Penguins captain’s wrist shot. Another Crosby shot hit the post just before the end of regulation, allowing the Flyers to escape with the victory.

Wayne Simmonds scored twice while Brayden Schenn and Matt Read had a goal each as the Flyers improved to 35-25-7.

Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, Jayson Megna scored for the Penguins, who slipped to 44-19-4 after back-to-back losses.

In the first, Marc-Andre Fleury made a sprawling glove save on Simmonds after Vincent Lecavalier sent a pass past a sliding Olli Maatta through the Penguins’ crease.

However, Fleury couldn’t secure the puck and it bounced out to Schenn, who backhanded it past the goaltender for a 1-0 Flyers lead, 2:06 into the game.

With Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo in the penalty box for interference, Simmonds deflected a slap shot past Fleury for a 2-0 Flyers lead at 6:47 of the first.

Simmonds scored another power-play goal 6:54 later by battling for the puck in the crease before flipping it over Fleury’s right pad to extend the lead to 3-0. Fleury was replaced by Zatkoff after allowing three goals on 15 shots. Zatkoff, for his part, stopped 19 shots.

Pittsburgh got on the board when Orpik slapped a shot by Mason for the Penguins’ first goal of the weekend series with 2:27 left in the first.

After trailing by three goals in the first period, the Penguins pulled to within a goal twice in the second.

Defenseman Matt Niskanen took a pass from Rob Scuderi and slapped a shot past Mason to cut the Philadelphia lead to 3-2, 5:50 into the period with his 10th goal of the season.

However, Read scored his second shorthanded goal of the weekend, deciding to keep the puck on a 2-on-1 before wristing a shot past Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff, to regain Philadelphia’s two-goal lead with 7:49 remaining in the second.

Four minutes later, Megna tapped the pass behind Mason to send the game into the third period with a 4-3 Flyers lead.

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