NHL notebook: Flyers goalie Mason might miss playoff opener
• The Panthers bucked the odds by jumping up a spot to win the NHL Draft lottery and earn the right to the top pick in June. The Panthers, who finished 29th in the league, vaulted ahead of the last-place Sabres, who had the best odds of winning the lottery held in Toronto on Tuesday night. The draft will be held in Philadelphia on June 27-28.
• Steve Mason kept the Flyers afloat when they struggled early in the season. Now they may start the playoffs without their No. 1 goalie. Mason practiced for 15 minutes before leaving the ice Tuesday, three days after he sustained an upper-body injury during a collision against the Penguins. Coach Craig Berube was uncertain whether Mason will play against the Rangers on Thursday in Game 1.
• Injured Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will not play in Game 1 of the team's Eastern Conference playoff series against Montreal. However, the Lightning don't feel they'll be at a disadvantage with backup Anders Lindback facing a more experienced Carey Price and the Canadiens in the best of 7 series that begins Wednesday.
• Raffi Torres is making progress, but it's unclear whether he'll play for the Sharks in their playoff opener Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings. Torres missed all but five games during the regular season after undergoing surgery Sept. 26 to repair a torn ligament in his right knee.
• Another group of former players has joined the fight for compensation for head injuries they say they incurred while playing, while at the same time targeting the violence of the game that they believe brought about those injuries. Retired players Dave Christian, Reed Larson and William Bennett filed a class action lawsuit in federal court alleging that the league has promoted fighting and downplayed the risk of head injuries that come from it.