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Offensive-minded Capitals to test Mason, Blue Jackets

Columbus (18-18-4) at Washington (27-11-3), 7:00 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Lately, few opponents have been able to

score upon Steve Mason. But it is not every day the 20-year-old

rookie sensation faces an offensive-minded club like the

Washington Capitals.

Coming off two straight losses, Mason and the Columbus Blue

Jackets look to halt the Capitals' seven-game winning streak on

Friday.

After fizzling in a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues, Mason and

the Blue Jackets faltered again in Thursday's 3-0 setback to the

Detroit Red Wings.

Though the last two contests have nearly negated a previous

season-high, four-game winning streak, Mason has thrived over

the past month by going 7-5-0 with a 1.49 goals-against average.

He is 13-9-1 and leads the NHL with a 1.82 GAA and .934 save

percentage in 23 games.

Washington has scored three or more goals in five of the wins

during their current run, but its last two victories have come

with strong efforts on the defensive end.

The Capitals are coming off a 2-1 shootout triumph over the

Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday - three days after beating the

New York Rangers, 2-1.

Alex Ovechkin has recorded 13 points in his last 10 games. He

notched the game-winner against the Rangers, and is second in

the NHL with 53 points.

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