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Flyers will stay with Ray Emery in goal for Game 2

Derek Stepan of the Rangers scores a third-period

Derek Stepan of the Rangers scores a third-period power play goal against Ray Emery of the Philadelphia Flyers during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Credit: Jim McIsaac

In a bit of a surprise, Flyers backup goaltender Ray Emery will make his second consecutive start in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden Sunday.

No. 1 goaltender Steve Mason, who practiced at the Garden but looked uncomfortable and winded during the session, won't even be on the bench.

The Flyers had to summon Calvin Heeter, who backed up Emery in Thursday's 4-1 loss, from their minor-league affiliate in Hershey because it had been assumed that Mason at least would be ready to support Emery.

Mason, who appeared to injure his head and neck in a fall in the season finale, won 33 games this season. Emery, who made 32 saves in Game 1, was 9-12-2 with a 2.96 goals-against average.

"Steve had a really good year and played lots of games, but I thought when Ray went in there, he was always good," defenseman Mark Streit said. "He's mentally really strong. Sometimes we didn't play well in front of him and it cost us games. But he's been solid."

The Rangers, who have won nine straight home games against the Flyers, shrugged off the goalie issue. "We have the same game plan," said Rick Nash, who had seven shots in Game 1. "Get traffic, try to shoot from all angles. No matter what goalie you play in this league, you're going to have to outwork them to score. It's the same game plan with all 30 goalies."

Blue notes

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault would not discuss his lineup for Game 2, but based on practice, Justin Falk, Raphael Diaz, J.T. Miller and Dan Carcillo are expected to be healthy scratches again . . . Vigneault said he hopes the Rangers' five-on-five play will improve. "There's a couple of areas of getting more situations in front of their net," he said. "I thought we had some good looks last game but I think we can be better."

New York Sports