Mason shines as Blue Jackets stymie Islanders

By Dave Holstein
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) — Steve Mason is making a difference
for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The rookie goaltender made 24 saves as the Blue Jackets received
goals from three different players Saturday en route to a 3-1
triumph over the New York Islanders.

Fredrik Modin and Jason Chimera scored in the second period and
Andrew Murray added his fourth of the season in the third for
Columbus, which has won two in a row following a three-game
losing streak.

“We’ve been playing well,” Chimera said. “We just have to keep
playing well. The wins will come, the goals will come, and it’s
just a matter of time before we can start getting some wins.”

A third-round pick in 2006, the 20-year-old Mason has started 13
of the Blue Jackets’ last 17 games. He turned aside eight shots
in the first period, six in the second and 10 in the third in
improving to 8-4-1.

“The guys made it really easy for me tonight,” Mason said.
“There were not a lot of second chances and they made sure I
could see all of the shots from the point, so everybody did a
good job in front of me.”

Richard Park scored a shorthanded goal and Joey MacDonald
stopped 32 shots for the Islanders, who dropped their sixth
straight contest.

“It’s tough, but we still have to try to keep it positive and do
the things that we know work for us,” New York captain Bill
Guerin said. “We can’t be too negative. We just have to keep
going, we can’t quit here.”

Modin opened the scoring four minutes into the middle session.

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With Columbus on the power play, defenseman Fedor Tyutin
unleashed a shot from the right point. The puck went off
captain Rick Nash before Modin wristed it past MacDonald for a
1-0 lead.

Chimera doubled the advantage late in the session, beating
MacDonald from the doorstep with 1:54 left for his seventh of
the season.

“The puck set down nicely for me,” Chimera said. “When I was
going to shoot it, he exposed the high glove a little bit and I
was able to chip it in.”

The goal was one MacDonald would have liked to have back.

“He was coming in with a lot of speed, so I didn’t want to come
out,” MacDonald said. “It’s tough when a player is coming in
that fast, and he just put the shot in over my glove.”

The Islanders halved the deficit with just 10 seconds to go in
the period, when Park collected a loose puck in the neutral zone
and skated in alone to beat Mason with a backhander.

Columbus regained its two-goal bulge when Murray tapped in a
rebound midway through the third.

“It’s just a matter of guys working hard down low,” Murray said.
“And I get rewarded with the goal.”

Along with the Buffalo Sabres, the Islanders never have won a
game at Nationwide Arena. New York fell to 0-5-1 all-time in

“We just have to keep working and playing hard,” Islanders coach
Scott Gordon said. “This is a tough stretch for us right now,
and we need to keep things positive and in perspective and try
and get a win or two and build on that.”