DETROIT – Steve Mason flashed his Calder Trophy-winning form of two years ago Friday night.
Mason made 34 saves for his 17th career shutout as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-0.
It was Mason’s second shutout of the season and third against Detroit. He was voted the NHL’s top rookie in 2008-09 and finished second in the balloting for the Vezina Trophy, which goes to the NHL’s top goaltender. But his numbers haven’t been nearly as good since.
“He looked big and he looked comfortable,” Columbus coach Scott Arniel said of Mason.
Antoine Vermette and Andrew Murray each had a goal and an assist while Jared Boll registered the other for Columbus.
“For him to get the shutout tonight, a great feeling for him and us,” said Murray, who scored into an empty net with 1:12 remaining.
Mason said the Blue Jackets played great defensively in front of him.
“Our backcheck, especially in the third period, did a good job and took away their forecheck,” he said “And that took away the momentum they were trying to build.”
Jimmy Howard stopped 21 shots for the Red Wings.
“Just (not) executing. Not making plays,” said Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom. “Whether it’s a pass on a breakout the way we wanted to, we just didn’t execute well at all.”
Vermette’s 12th goal opened the scoring with 7:51 left in the first period. He beat Howard with a slapshot from the high slot as Vermette came off the bench.
“I never saw the pass (from Matt Calvert). All I did was hear the shot,” Howard said. “In that situation, you’re in trouble if you can’t see it.”
Rick Nash’s apparent goal with 6:39 left in the first was waved off because of a goaltender interference penalty to Derick Brassard.
Boll made it 2-0 with 7:49 left in the second period with his sixth goal. Murray set up Boll from behind the net.
Columbus killed off a 1:06 two-man Detroit advantage late in the second period.
“A good penalty kill starts with goaltending,” Arneil said. “From there we blocked some shots and limited their chances down low.”
Lidstrom talked about the Red wings’ missed opportunity.
“We had the 5-on-3, didn’t execute,” he said. “A goal would have gotten us back into the game.”
NOTES—Detroit C Pavel Datsyuk (broken bone in his right hand) and RW Tomas Holmstrom (broken right hand) remained out. It’s possible that both may return Saturday night in Nashville. Datsyuk has missed 18 games and Holmstrom seven. … Columbus D Rostislav Klesla missed his third game with a lower-body injury. … Boll played junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers, who are based in suburban Detroit. … It was the Blue Jackets’ first ever shutout in Detroit. … Columbus F Kristian Huselius was a healthy scratch.