WASHINGTON — It was one of the sickest feelings Flyers goalie Steve Mason has ever had.

What ended up being the game-winning goal was tipped at center ice by Jason Chimera. It went all the way in, unimpeded, and slipped through his 5-hole at the midway point of the game.

“It wasn’t good. My fault, obviously,” Mason said. “It put the team in a tough position after that. Just a bad goal.

“I tried to put it to the corner. I messed up.”

The Flyers weren’t able to offer much help in a 4-1 loss even though their play was better than it was in a Game 1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

The Flyers head home having finally scored on Braden Holtby, but are now in a serious two-game deficit against the Presidents’ Trophy winners.

“We played a good game,” captain Claude Giroux said. “Guys came out hard right off the start and I think we needed that one goal to get the lead. Again, the same story: Holtby did a lot of nice saves and we couldn’t get that first goal.”

Coach Dave Hakstol had been preaching the Law of Averages all season, that if the Flyers were playing well and not getting results, it would eventually catch up to them.