Penguins
Blue Jackets
3 - 4 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Huselius lifts Blue Jackets over Penguins in shootout

Mar 13, 2009 - 3:19 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Antoine Vermette has never missed the playoffs. The Columbus Blue Jackets have never made them.

Somebody's streak is about to end.

Kristian Huselius had a goal in regulation and the only shootout goal and the Blue Jackets beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, on Thursday night after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period.

Vermette, who had an assist and his first goal since coming over in a trade-deadline deal with Ottawa, said the game could serve as a teaching moment to a team trying to figure out how to make the postseason for the first time.

"Somehow, I like facing this situation," said Vermette, who made the playoffs all four years with the Senators. "It sounds weird, but good teams at this time have to show some (ability to overcome) adversity like this. (It's) obviously not the way we wanted it, when you're up 3-0. But when things aren't going our way, you've got to remember these moments."

Steve Mason was victimized for three goals in a span of 3:25 of the last period but stopped Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the shootout.

Once the game reached the shootout, the rookie goalie might have been the calmest soul on the ice.

"As long as we score first, I feel pretty confident," Mason said. "It doesn't matter to me what the score is or what happens in the game. My demeanor never changes out there. I was calm throughout."

The game was played before 19,167, the largest announced crowd ever to see a hockey game in Columbus.

"It was a great atmosphere out there," Crosby said. "That's the type of game you expect this time of year. A lot of teams are competing for points. The intensity is a little bit higher."

The points were important for both teams, who each came into the game in sixth place in their respective divisions.

"Look who we beat in the last three games," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We beat Detroit, we beat Boston, we beat the hottest team in the NHL. It's hard. Every game is hard. There are no breathers. ... It's the way it is right now. You have to find the energy and we need new people stepping up. We've got to keep going and keep rolling."

Jason Williams also had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, who tied a franchise record for wins in a season with their 35th. They've won three in a row and four of five.

Sergei Gonchar, Pascal Dupuis and Maxime Talbot scored for Pittsburgh and Malkin and Crosby each had two assists for the Penguins, who had a season-best seven-game winning streak end.

"Just from the talk on the bench and in the room, we knew we didn't play well tonight," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "After a few minutes in the third, we got (going). The first goal came, we dump it in, retrieve the puck and 10 seconds later, it's in the net. That just hit the point home that that's how we need to play. We did it for 15 (minutes) and we get a point and we get to move on."

Mason had 38 saves while setting a franchise record for wins by a goalie with 28. A frontrunner to be the NHL's top rookie, he's 28-16-3.

He stopped the first 30 shots he faced, but the Penguins, down three goals, finally broke through midway through the third, when Gonchar netted his fourth on a power play. Eighty seconds later, the Blue Jackets' Jiri Novotny gave away the puck behind his own net, with Malkin grabbing it and trying a wraparound. The puck slid past Mason, with Dupuis collecting it and jamming it in for his first goal since December 30.

Two minutes after that, Malkin dug the puck off the back wall and tossed a blind pass behind him to Talbot for the tying goal.

In the overtime, Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz hit a crossbar before Mason gloved his slap shot 1:26 in. Mason also made a terrific blocker save on a blast by Letang.

"He made a big save on Tanger there in overtime," Crosby said. "He made some nice saves in the shootout. It's no secret that he's a great goalie. He played well again tonight."

In the shootout, Huselius, going third, slid the puck between the leg pads of Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who finished with 25 saves.

"I actually was thinking before I went out there I wanted to shoot (right away) because (Williams) and (Rick Nash) tried to deke him, and I saw he had really quick legs," Huselius said. "He recovered fast. I just wanted to get in slowly and shoot it quick."

Mason then stopped Malkin, touching off a loud roar from the crowd - which included at least a couple thousand Penguins fans.

"It was a win that felt like a relief," Hitchcock said.








  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 3 0 (0) 3
    COLUMBUS 1 1 1 0 (1) 4 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - KRISTIAN HUSELIUS 19 (FEDOR TYUTIN, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    8:42
    2ND PRD: COB - JASON WILLIAMS 15 (ANTOINE VERMETTE) 16:59
    3RD PRD: COB - ANTOINE VERMETTE 10 (JASON WILLI

    Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 4  Final - 2OTMar 12 9:53 PM


  • NHL
    END OF OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 3 0 3
    COLUMBUS 1 1 1 0 3 END OF OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - KRISTIAN HUSELIUS 19 (FEDOR TYUTIN, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    8:42
    2ND PRD: COB - JASON WILLIAMS 15 (ANTOINE VERMETTE) 16:59
    3RD PRD: COB - ANTOINE VERMETTE 10 (JASON WILLIAMS) 1:

    Mar 12 9:44 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 38 roots (Overtime)

    Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 3  OT - 4:55Mar 12 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 3 3
    COLUMBUS 1 1 1 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - KRISTIAN HUSELIUS 19 (FEDOR TYUTIN, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    8:42
    2ND PRD: COB - JASON WILLIAMS 15 (ANTOINE VERMETTE) 16:59
    3RD PRD: COB - ANTOINE VERMETTE 10 (JASON WILLIAMS) 1:03
    PIT - (PP) SERGEI GON

    Mar 12 9:36 PM
  • 134
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    RUWTbot Added 48 roots (Close Finish)

    Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 3:00Mar 12 9:27 PM
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    Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 8:02Mar 12 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 3
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - MAXIME TALBOT 10 (EVGENI MALKIN, SIDNEY CROSBY) 11:58

    Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 8:02Mar 12 9:21 PM
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    Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 8:02Mar 12 9:21 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 10 (EVGENI MALKIN) 9:53

    Penguins 2, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 10:07Mar 12 9:16 PM
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    Penguins 2, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 10:07Mar 12 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: PIT - (PP) SERGEI GONCHAR 4 (UNASSISTED) 8:33

    Penguins 1, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 11:27Mar 12 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: COB - ANTOINE VERMETTE 10 (JASON WILLIAMS) 1:03

    Penguins 0, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 18:57Mar 12 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - KRISTIAN HUSELIUS 19 (FEDOR TYUTIN, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    8:42
    2ND PRD: COB - JASON WILLIAMS 15 (ANTOINE VERMETTE) 16:59
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 10 9

    Mar 12 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    COLUMBUS 2
    2ND PRD: COB - JASON WILLIAMS 15 (ANTOINE VERMETTE) 16:59

    Penguins 0, Blue Jackets 2  2nd - 3:01Mar 12 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - KRISTIAN HUSELIUS 19 (FEDOR TYUTIN, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    8:42
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 10 10
    COB 10 10
    GOALIES: PIT - MARC-AN

    Mar 12 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: COB - KRISTIAN HUSELIUS 19 (FEDOR TYUTIN, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    8:42

    Penguins 0, Blue Jackets 1  1st - 11:18Mar 12 7:29 PM
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