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Streaking Blue Jackets battle Wild

Nov 6, 2010 - 2:47 PM
(Sports Network) - Mathieu Garon is making things interesting in net for the Blue Jackets. The veteran should be in line for a third straight start tonight when Columbus hosts the Minnesota Wild at Nationwide Arena.

Garon has started two straight games for the first time this season and has stopped all 54 shots fired his way. After downing Montreal on Tuesday, the 32- year-old posted 25 saves in a 3-0 triumph over Atlanta.

Jakub Voracek, Derick Brassard and R.J. Umberger all scored for Columbus, which has won two straight and five of its last six games overall.

"For me and for the team, it was a matter of all of us working hard," said Garon. "Guys are taking good care of the defensive zone and blocking tons of shots, and that makes it easier for me."

Garon is 4-0-0 with a 0.89 goals-against average and .966 save percentage this year, while No. 1 netminder Steve Mason is 4-4-0 with a 3.30 GAA and .894 save percentage. Garon's current run is expected to get him another start tonight and he is 7-3-1 with a 2.61 GAA in his career versus the Wild. That includes a win in his season debut on Oct. 16, when Garon posted 21 saves in a 3-2 win at Minnesota.

Despite the loss, the Wild have still won seven of their last 11 versus the Blue Jackets overall, but own just three wins in their last 15 trips to Columbus.

Niklas Backstrom made 22 saves in losing to the Blue Jackets in mid-October, but he was strong with 33 stops in last night's 2-1 triumph over Calgary that helped the Wild wrap a season-long homestand at 3-1-1.

Martin Havlat scored the game-winning goal, his first tally of the season, and Cal Clutterbuck also scored. Havlat had been held to just seven assists over Minnesota's first 11 games.

"It doesn't matter who scores a goal, the most important thing is to get the "W" at the end of the night," said Havlat. "But it's nice to get the feeling back again to score a goal."

Minnesota kicks off a four-game road trip tonight and is 1-1-1 as the guest club this season.

Backstrom is 7-3-0 with a 2.03 GAA in his career versus the Blue Jackets. Backup Jose Theodore, who has made just one start this season, is 5-3-1 with a 2.33 GAA against them.

Columbus is expected to have defenseman Mike Commodore back in the lineup after activating him off injured reserve on Friday. The soon-to-be 31-year-old has missed the last 10 games due to an upper-body injury suffered versus San Jose in Stockholm, Sweden on Oct. 9.