for this game

Blue Jackets' Mason records second straight shutout

Dec 30, 2008 - 7:23 AM
By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Rookie Steve Mason isn't playing like a first-year guy. Rather, he is quickly establishing himself as one of the league's better goaltenders.

Mason finished with 24 saves in earning his second straight shutout to help the Columbus Blue Jackets record a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

"He's been great all year," Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash said of Mason. "He's been the backbone."

Defenseman Kris Russell scored a power-play goal and Nash notched his team-leading 16th goal on an empty-netter and added an assist for Columbus, which won for the first time in eight tries on the road.

The 20-year-old Mason, who entered with a league-best 1.87 goals-against average, was perfect in this one. He made eight saves in the first, 10 in the second and six in the third for his fourth shutout in 19 games this season. He stopped 20 shots during Saturday's 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

"Playing a lot helps, you get into a rhythm," said Mason, who improved to 11-7-1 this season. "Shutouts are nice, obviously, but in the end what we are looking for is wins right now."

Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock credited the performance of his entire defensive unit for the holding down the Kings.

"Steve Mason was good, but our group has been playing well," Hitchcock said. "Our seven defensemen, plus Mason - we're trying to make ourselves a very hard group to play against back there. We're not the prettiest group and we're not the fanciest group, but we kind of maul you a little bit. That's the way we are built."

The Blue Jackets finally got on the board against the Kings after having been outscored, 6-0, in two earlier meetings - most recently a 3-0 loss last Monday.

Rookie backup goalie Jonathan Quick had 23 saves for the Kings, who failed to record a goal for the sixth time this season.

"I don't think we played hard enough and consistently across the board," Kings center Patrick O'Sullivan said.

Quick, who continues to impress since being called up from the minors after Erik Ersberg went down with a groin injury, turned in yet another solid performance in his fifth start. He was coming off shutouts in two of his previous three outings.

"He's giving us a chance to win every game that he's played and that's all you can ask for from a goaltender," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "We have to score some goals for him. He's played with a lot of energy and a lot of composure and he's giving us a good look - and it's good to see that we have good young guys like this in the organization."

Columbus broke a scoreless tie in the waning moments of the second period with a rare man-advantage goal. It was just the team's 16th tally in 160 power-play chances (10 percent), which ranks last in the league.

Nash unleashed a pass from the right side through the mouth of the goal that deflected off a defender and came to rest at the foot of Russell, who finished with a backhander for his second goal of the season with 84 seconds remaining in the second period. The tally proved to be the game-winner.

"It seems like those are the kind of goals you need when you're struggling to score against a team," Nash said. "That power play has been our Achilles all year, so to sneak one in on the power play was huge."

After Quick was pulled for an extra skater, Nash converted a breakaway with 75 seconds remaining to account for the scoring.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 1 1 2
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) KRIS RUSSELL 2 (RICK NASH, FREDRIK MODIN) 18:36
    3RD PRD: COB - (EN) RICK NASH 16 (UNASSISTED) 18:45
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: COB - 1 OF 3, LOS - 0 OF 3.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOT

    Dec 30 12:56 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    LOS ANGELES 0
    3RD PRD: COB - (EN) RICK NASH 16 (UNASSISTED) 18:45

    Blue Jackets 2, Kings 0  3rd - 1:15Dec 30 12:51 AM
  • 10
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Blue Jackets 1, Kings 0  End of 2ndDec 30 12:04 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 1 1
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) KRIS RUSSELL 2 (RICK NASH, FREDRIK MODIN) 18:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 10 9 19
    LOS 8 10 18
    GOALIES: COB -

    Dec 30 12:02 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    LOS ANGELES 0
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) KRIS RUSSELL 2 (RICK NASH, FREDRIK MODIN) 18:36

    Blue Jackets 1, Kings 0  2nd - 1:24Dec 30 12:00 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0
    LOS ANGELES 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 10 10
    LOS 8 8
    GOALIES: COB - STEVE MASON
    LOS - JON QUICK

    Dec 29 11:10 PM