COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Steve Mason made 16 of his 33 saves in
the third period for his franchise-record 10th shutout as the
Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Calgary Flames, 5-0, on Thursday
night in a possible first-round playoff preview.
Mason, who broke the mark set last season by Pascal Leclaire,
leads the NHL in shutouts and has the most for a rookie since
Tony Esposito had 15 for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1969-70
Jason Williams had two power-play goals, Rick Nash had a
career-high four assists and Kristian Huselius also had four
assists in the penalty-filled game. The teams combined for 124
minutes - 64 by Columbus - with 110 coming in the second period,
when there were two fights, two game misconducts and four
Manny Malhotra and Williams had goals in the first period, and
Raffi Torres and R.J. Umberger gave Columbus a 4-0 lead in the
Calgary, the third-place team in the Western Conference, has
dropped two straight. The sixth-place Blue Jackets are 7-1-1 in
their past nine as they try to qualify for their first playoff
After failing to score through two periods of their previous two
games, the Blue Jackets took an early lead when Nash set up
Malhotra at 3:43 by breaking down the right side and cutting
sharply in the middle of the right circle.
That drew the attention of goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, and Nash
feathered a backdoor pass to Malhotra for the easy redirect into
the open net.
Columbus scored a power-play goal at 12:29, with Williams taking
a centering pass in the high slot from Huselius and using
Malhotra's screen in front. Williams' shot went through the
pads and trickled across the line as Kiprusoff reached back.