Columbus
Blue Jackets
41-31-10
St. Louis
Blues
41-31-10

22 SOG
27 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CBJ
STL
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Blue Jackets-Blues Preview

Saturday, 01.03.2009 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

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Blue Jackets-Blues Preview
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. St. Louis Blues

Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues have goaltenders named Mason on their rosters, but that's about all the teams have in common in terms of their recent play.

Steve Mason and the Blue Jackets look for their fifth straight win on Saturday night when they continue a six-game road trip against longtime nemesis Chris Mason and the last-place Blues.

The Blue Jackets' Mason was named the NHL rookie of the month in December, closing 2008 with three straight shutouts. His bid to extend that ended in the first period on Friday at Colorado, but Columbus (18-16-4) rallied for an easy 6-1 victory.

"In some sense, it was kind of nice, a huge weight is off everyone's shoulders," Columbus winger Rick Nash said. "He's been amazing."

Steve Mason went 199 minutes, 19 seconds between goals allowed. He's given up two goals or fewer in 10 of his past 11 starts.

Chris Mason, who is not related, is winless in his last seven starts after St. Louis fell 2-1 at Carolina on Friday. He stopped 26 shots before he was replaced by Manny Legace with 1:22 remaining as the Blues lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

Chris Mason is 9-1-1 in his career versus Columbus from his days with Nashville, while Steve Mason will likely get his first start against St. Louis. The rookie has started the last six games for the Blue Jackets, with Pascal Leclaire last seeing action in a 6-5 shootout loss at Dallas on Dec. 18.

This is the first of six meetings between the Central Division rivals. Last season, St. Louis won all four home games against Columbus, outscoring the Blue Jackets 17-4.

Steve Mason had plenty of help on Friday as Columbus matched its season high for goals scored. Nash had a goal and three assists while Kristian Huselius scored twice.

"It was a heck of a game from the guys," said Mason, who made 23 saves. "I really had to do absolutely nothing."

While Columbus enjoyed an easy night, David Backes scored the lone goal for St. Louis against the Hurricanes. The Blues have dropped three consecutive one-goal decisions.

"The toughest part is that we're right there," Backes said. "It's one-goal games. It's tie games. Third-period leads that we've squandered. Somehow, we're finding ways to give it to the other team. It's just not winning hockey, the way we're playing. We've got to find a way to crack that."

The Blues had 16 shots on goal in the third period after managing 15 over the first two.

"We had a lot of shots, and a lot of chances on their net," Backes said. "If we had done that for 60 minutes, I would have liked our chances."

St. Louis defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo suffered an unspecified injury in the first period as he attempted a hip check on Tuomo Ruutu. Coach Andy Murray said Colaiacovo would be evaluated on Saturday.

Columbus left winger Jason Chimera is doubtful after sitting out on Friday with a groin injury.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 10 '09CBJ 1 at STL 3K. Tkachuk
Mar 29 '09STL 5 at CBJ 2D. Perron
Mar 28 '09CBJ 3 at STL 4 - SOD. Perron
Feb 18 '09STL 3 at CBJ 4A. Murray
Feb 03 '09STL 4 at CBJ 2B. Boyes
Jan 03 '09CBJ 2 at STL 5K. Tkachuk
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Nash39172239+93434
K. Huselius38121325-51631
D. Brassard31101525+121731
R. Umberger3911920-12031
F. Modin3381018-51820
J. Chimera3171118+93111
M. Commodore3931518+105500
J. Voracek3851116+102400
F. Tyutin3931316-34500
M. Malhotra34459+71401
M. Peca34369-54601
M. Methot28358+82000
J. Hejda39268+141401
K. Russell23268-7211
A. Murray33527-6411
R. Klesla19145+32100
C. Backman36134+01810
J. Novotny26134+6400
R. Torres14134-1801
J. Boll32033-59900
D. Dorsett21112-36301
N. Filatov4101+1000
C. MacDonald3101+1001
O. Tollefsen12011-13100
C. Wilson5011-2000
A. Picard10000-12400
M. York1000+0000
M. Mayorov1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Mason2213-8-1405991.81.933
P. Leclaire124-6-1433243.83.867
F. Norrena81-3-2171333.16.872
D. Lacosta10-0-02193.43.895
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
B. Boyes39181634-2216104
K. Tkachuk39141327-1137101
P. Berglund34121325+12840
D. Perron3842125+22200
D. Backes3912719-611320
A. McDonald1661218-121221
B. Crombeen388715-36602
A. Steen4051015-41030
P. Kariya1121315+1200
L. Stempniak1431013-3201
B. Jackman3921012-75400
J. McClement393811-92300
R. Polak39189-52901
C. Colaiacovo30178-72300
J. Woywitka25088-33200
B. Winchester21617-53840
T. Oshie15347+2220
E. Brewer28156-142410
Y. Stastny32235-142000
S. Regier8314-1420
C. Paddock16213-4000
C. Janssen30033-57000
M. Weaver21033-2200
J. McKee30112-51201
S. Wagner16112-51800
C. Porter6112-1000
T. Strachan9011+01900
A. Pietrangelo8011+0200
D. King1011+0000
D. Hinote21000-72100
D. Koci5000-21300
J. Junland1000+0200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
M. Legace2311-8-1635623.23.888
C. Mason183-12-1494943.15.901
B. Bishop51-1-1121093.19.890
M. Schwarz20-0-0050.001.000
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