for this game

Mason, Blue Jackets shut out Flyers

Dec 28, 2008 - 4:08 AM
By Dave Holstein PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- It only took eight years but the Columbus Blue Jackets have finally defeated every team in the NHL.

Defenseman Jan Hejda and Andrew Murray scored first-period goals and rookie goaltender Steve

Mason finished with 20 saves for his third career shutout as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-0, on Saturday.

"The players feel like if we have a lead going into the third period, the other players feel like Mason will not get scored on," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's the confidence we have right now with him."

"It was tough to stay sharp with the way our guys were playing the majority of the game in their end," Mason said. "Obviously the win is nice but you can't really sit on it. At the end of the game, it is only one game."

The Flyers had been the only team that Columbus had yet to defeat since joining the NHL in 2000. The Blue Jackets had been 0-4-3 before Saturday's win, which was also the first shutout loss for the Flyers this season.

Mason turned aside five shots in the first period, 11 in the second and four in the third to secure the shutout.

Hejda opened the scoring just 3:22 for Columbus early in the first period. Derek Dorsett attempted a wraparound and, after the puck was cleared out of the crease by defenseman Ossi Vaananen, Hejda slipped a wrist shot past Antero Niittymaki.

"It was nice to get one through," Hejda said. "A lot of my shots get blocked, so it was nice to finally get one through and score."

It was only the second goal of the season for Hejda, who scored 24 games ago against Colorado on October 30.

The goal was the first for the Blue Jackets in over 6 1/2 periods. Their last goal was by captain Rick Nash with 2:46 left in a game in Dallas on December 18. Columbus was then shut out in consecutive games by Phoenix and Los Angeles.

"If we get a lead on teams, we are really difficult to play against," Hitchcock said. "Teams don't come back on us. We are a frustrating team to play against because every player on this team know how to check and how to check properly - and when we do it, we are pretty effective."

Columbus doubled its advantage after Murray netted a power-play tally with 1:52 remaining in the session. Defenseman Kris Russell was behind the net and put the puck in front where former Flyer R.J. Umberger put a shot on goal. Murray buried the rebound to double the advantage.

"It was just one of those goals where you are around the net and sometimes you get rewarded," Murray said. "Russell and Umberger worked hard down low to get the puck in front and I was fortunate enough to bury it."

Umberger was facing his former team for the first time since joining Columbus via trade during the NHL draft on June 20.

Manny Malhotra extended the lead to 3-0 when he scored 7:29 into the second period. Malhotra received a pass from Nash and skated in alone, putting a wrist shot past the glove of Niittymaki from the right slot.

"A great job by both Kristian (Huselius) and Rick (Nash)," Malhotra said. "First of all, 'Juice' (Huselius) causing the turnover in the neutral zone and Rick throwing a great pass to lead me. I just went in and put it high, they did a great job to set it up."

Due to ice in Chicago, the Flyers did not arrive in Columbus until early afternoon and missed their morning skate for the second day in a row.

"Travel is tough. Chicago is a good team, they have only lost one game at home all year," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "Tonight was a little better, but still not the level we have been playing at. You're coming on the road here, teams are ready. They are not going to take you lightly because of where we are in the standings. We can't make excuses right now, we have got to regroup and tighten up and do the little things better."

"It affects different guys in different ways," defenseman Braydon Coburn said. "It's more mental than it is physical when you're faced with a little break in the routine like that."

Columbus improved to 6-1-1 against the Eastern Conference this season.

Niittymaki finished with 30 saves for Philadelphia.








  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    COLUMBUS 3

    Dec 27 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - JAN HEJDA 2 (UNASSISTED) 3:22
    COB - (PP) ANDREW MURRAY 5 (R.J. UMBERGER, KRIS RUSSELL)
    18:08
    2ND PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 4 (RICK NASH, KRISTIAN HUSELIUS) 7:39
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Dec 27 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    COLUMBUS 3
    2ND PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 4 (RICK NASH, KRISTIAN HUSELIUS) 7:39

    Flyers 0, Blue Jackets 3  2nd - 12:21Dec 27 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0
    COLUMBUS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - JAN HEJDA 2 (UNASSISTED) 3:22
    COB - (PP) ANDREW MURRAY 5 (R.J. UMBERGER, KRIS RUSSELL)
    18:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 5 5
    COB 13

    Dec 27 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    COLUMBUS 2
    1ST PRD: COB - (PP) ANDREW MURRAY 5 (R.J. UMBERGER, KRIS RUSSELL)
    18:08

    Flyers 0, Blue Jackets 2  1st - 1:52Dec 27 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: COB - JAN HEJDA 2 (UNASSISTED) 3:22

    Flyers 0, Blue Jackets 1  1st - 16:38Dec 27 7:16 PM