for this game

Nash, Mason star as Blue Jackets shut out Thrashers

Nov 23, 2008 - 5:48 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Captain Rick Nash's continued hot play helped rookie goaltender Steve Mason record his first career shutout.

Nash extended his goal-scoring streak to five games with a backhanded tally in the first period and set up another goal, leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-0 blanking of the listless Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday.

Mason turned aside 15 shots and R.J. Umberger added an empty-net goal for Columbus, which has won five of eight.

"Anytime you hold a team to (15) shots, it's a good night," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We're really inching towards being a good team. We're doing some things to get ourselves to the next level."

Nash has been on fire of late, snapping a nine-game goalless drought by notching 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his previous four games.?? He was at it again in this one, netting the game-winner in an otherwise uneventful game at Philips Arena.

Midway through the first period, defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen unleashed a slap shot toward Atlanta netminder Ondrej Pavelec from the left point.

The shot bounced off the stick of Atlanta blue-liner Ron Hainsey to Nash. The former Maurice Richard Trophy winner slid a backhander into the open side of the net at 8:36 to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead.

"I got very lucky," Nash admitted. "It came onto my stick and I put it in for the game-winning goal."

Nash also notched an assist on Columbus' second tally, sliding the puck to Umberger, who shot it into an empty net with 78 seconds remaining in the third.

"Obviously, he's a special player," Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore said of Nash. "He didn't score a goal for nine games and people were worried. He's the best player on our team, and you know it's just a matter of time when you're talented like that."

Nash returned the compliment to Commodore and the Blue Jackets' entire defense corps.

"(It's tough to stop Atlanta), especially against a team with (Ilya) Kovalchuk and (Vyacheslav) Kozlov," Nash said. "We have to give credit to our defense. They shut them down tonight."

A combination of opportune offense and a defensive unit that blocked 16 shot attempts was enough to help Mason record his first NHL shutout.?? The 20-year-old was rarely tested, turning aside four shots in the first session, five in the second and six in the third.

"I'm just going to try to take it in stride," Mason said. "Overall, it was a pretty simple game. The only hard part was staying focused."

Pavelec wished that his night was that easy. The Czech steered aside a career-high 29 shots but fell victim to his club's offensive ineptitude.

"It was a lucky bounce on the first goal," Pavelec said. "It's a little bit frustrating for us. We have to stay focused and win as a team."

The Thrashers once again listlessly meandered through the first two periods in a comatose Philips Arena.

Atlanta, which did not register a shot until more than 11 minutes into the game, looked like it was going through the motions over the first two sessions, mustering just nine shots through the first 40 minutes.

The Thrashers have been outshot by a staggering 72-31 margin over the first two periods of their last three games. Not surprisingly, they have been on the wrong side of the scoreboard in all three of those contests.

"I thought our team was a little flat," Atlanta coach John Anderson said. "We got to play 60 minutes like it's like the leadoff hitter makes a home run or a double to get the team started. We need something like that."

Unfortunately for Atlanta, their third period was not much better.

"We can't come out flat and try to make it up in the third (period)," Thrashers defenseman Garnet Exelby said. "We need to come out hungry to play in the first and not get behind. We are going to be in big trouble by Christmas for the playoff picture if we keep this up."

About the only excitement for the home crowd of 15,561 was a shot by defenseman Niclas Havelid that rattled off the crossbar in the first period, and a fracas between Exelby and Jared Boll of the Blue Jackets midway through the second.

Exelby was black-and-blue in the place they call "Blueland" after that fight as Boll landed a number of punches to the enforcer's forehead.






  • Shaggy Good for Mason. He's gonna be something.

    Blue Jackets 2, Thrashers 0  FinalNov 22 10:51 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 1 0 1 2
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 10 (OLE-KRISTIAN TOLLEFSEN, DERRICK
    BRASSARD) 8:36
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: COB - (EN) R.J. UMBERGER 8 (RICK NASH) 18:42
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: COB - 0 OF 3, ATL - 0 OF 2.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2N

    Nov 22 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    ATLANTA 0
    3RD PRD: COB - (EN) R.J. UMBERGER 8 (RICK NASH) 18:42

    Blue Jackets 2, Thrashers 0  3rd - 1:18Nov 22 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 1 0 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 10 (KRISTIAN HUSELIUS, OLE-KRISTIAN
    TOLLEFSEN) 8:36
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 7 13 20
    ATL 4 5 9
    GOALI

    Nov 22 8:43 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 1 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 10 (KRISTIAN HUSELIUS, OLE-KRISTIAN
    TOLLEFSEN) 8:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 7 7
    ATL 4 4
    GOALIES: COB - STEV

    Nov 22 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 10 (KRISTIAN HUSELIUS, OLE-KRISTIAN
    TOLLEFSEN) 8:36

    Blue Jackets 1, Thrashers 0  1st - 11:24Nov 22 7:23 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Blue Jackets vs. ThrashersNov 22 7:04 AM