Mason, Blues ground Flyers

ST. LOUIS (Ticker) — Chris Mason helped out at both ends of the

Mason made 36 saves to record his third shutout of the season
and collected an assist as the St. Louis Blues skated to a 4-0
victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Jay McClement, defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, David Backes and
rookie Patrik Berglund scored for the Blues, who defeated the
Flyers at the Scottrade Center for the first time since February
29, 2000.

Aside from St. Louis ending its five-game home winless streak
against Philadelphia in the teams’ second matchup here since the
lockout, the Blues won for only the second time in their last 10
meetings with the Flyers.

The 32-year-old Mason turned aside nine shots in the first
period, 12 more in the next and 15 in the third to complete his
15th career blanking.

“If I had a rebound, they were clearing shots and I was seeing
the puck,” Mason said. “When I’m told to play, I play. I feel
really good right now. It’s good to be in a really comfortable

With St. Louis holding a 2-0 advantage and on the power play,
Mason caught Philadelphia in the midst of a line change. After
clearing the zone, all four Flyers headed to the bench, but
Mason skated out of the crease and collected the puck between
the faceoff circles.

A heads-up Mason then fired a long outlet pass to Alexander
Steen at the far blue line, springing the Blues for a 2-on-none

“I stopped the puck, and normally, a guy will stay out, but they
all changed,” Mason said. “I found Steener out past the line
and threw it up to him. He did the rest.”

Steen faked a slap shot and made a cross-ice pass to a streaking
Backes, who converted with a one-timer into the open side of the
net at 8:37 of the second period.

“I had the easy job,” Backes said. “Mason did it by sending the
puck up with them changing.”

“Probably the best thing we did on the power play all night was
his pass,” St. Louis coach Andy Murray said of Mason’s outlet

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St. Louis opened the scoring after killing off a 5-on-3
disadvantage. With Brad Winchester and T.J. Oshie coming out of
the penalty box, it set up an odd-man rush for the Blues.

Oshie delivered a pass to Winchester, who fired a wrist shot
from the left circle that goaltender Antero Niittymaki stopped.
But McClement grabbed the rebound and fired a sharp-angle wrist
shot past the Flyers netminder at 4:05 of the opening session.

“We needed the PK to be like that,” Oshie said. “It was an
up-tempo game, but with lots of penalties from the play, it was
hard to get anything going.”

The game featured a combined 27 penalties and Philadelphia went
a season-worst 0-for-11 on the power play.

“You get opportunities and you want to capitalize. We didn’t
put the puck in the net, and the worst-case scenario is they
come out and score right after that,” Philadelphia coach John
Stevens said.

“We had chances all night – three 5-on-3s – and got nothing
accomplished. Special teams played a factor in the game tonight
– it was the difference in the hockey game in the end.”

Flyers captain Mike Richards was most frustrated at the
struggles on the man-advantage.

“You have to find a way to finish when you get chances like
that,” he said. “We had three chances two men up – when do you
ever get that many in one game and not score?”

“We needed to have a total team effort after our performance
against Ottawa,” Murray said. “Our penalty kill was
outstanding. What an emotional change when you score right
after a 3-on-5.”

Colaiacovo doubled the advantage at 2:45 of the second with his
second tally, and first at home, since joining St. Louis in a
November trade from Toronto. He took a quick feed from Keith
Tkachuk and unleashed a wrist shot from the slot over the glove
of Niittymaki, who finished with 31 saves.

Oshie and Brad Boyes had two assists apiece for St. Louis, which
snapped a four-game losing streak to the Flyers and improved to
4-1-1 over its last six contests.