COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) — Kristian Huselius recorded a goal and
an assist – including the game-winning tally with 4:44 remaining
in the third period – as the Columbus Blue Jackets posted a 3-2
triumph over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.
Fredrik Modin and Andrew Murray also scored, captain Rick Nash
notched two assists and rookie Steve Mason made 30 saves for
Columbus, which won its second consecutive game.
Kyle Wellwood and defenseman Kevin Bieksa scored on the power
play and blue-liner Alexander Edler notched two assists for
Vancouver, which dropped its third straight game in regulation.
Rookie Cory Schneider finished with 15 saves in relief of Curtis
Sanford, who left the game with back spasms after stopping all
11 shots he faced in the first period.
“(Sanford) came to the bench at a whistle and said he might have
done something to his back,” Schneider said. “So coach kind of
said to get ready just in case. And when he came in, he said he
couldn’t go, so I jumped in.
“It’s never easy, you have to get a sweat going, you have to get
into the game. It’s part of the job, you have to be ready at all
times no matter what.”
With the game tied at 2-2, Nash staved off two defenders in the
left faceoff circle before wristing a cross-slot feed to
Huselius, who tapped the puck past Schneider for his ninth goal
of the season.
“It was just a great pass and a good effort, a good shift,”
Huselius said. “We actually won the battle on the wall and had
a good breakout. Rick caught two guys on him and he made a
great pass to me, and all I had to do was one-time it.
“It’s always nice to score, I was a big goal for sure and it was
a great thing for us.”
The Blue Jackets survived a spirited rally by the Canucks –
including a point-blank shot by Wellwood – but Mason stood tall
while his team was shorthanded.
“I remember when the puck was in the corner, I took a quick
glance to see how much time was left on the clock,” Mason said.
“It wasn’t ticking down fast enough. But we closed it out and
that was probably our biggest kill of the year so far.”
“It was interesting,” Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. “That
save (Mason) made was unbelievable, terrific. It was a good
Bieksa gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead just 5:28 into the third
period with his team’s second power-play goal of the evening,
but Murray leveled the contest just over 3 1/2 minutes later
with his third goal of the season.
Wellwood opened the scoring 3:27 into the second period, but the
Blue Jackets were able to bounce back and notch their first win
of the season after allowing the game’s first goal. Prior to
the contest, Columbus was 0-6-3 after allowing the first goal.
“It’s inexcusable for us to give up the lead twice like we did
tonight,” Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler said. “We’ve got to nip this
in the bud right now and move on.”