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Mason stones opposition

The Columbus Blue Jackets have won three straight behind the play of their goaltender Steve Mason who has allowed only one goal in the last 180 minutes of play.

Last Three:

Dallas

Anton Stralman’s goal stood as the game’s lone goal for more than two periods before R.J. Umberger added some soon-to-be-needed insurance on an empty-net goal with just over a minute remaining.

Dallas’ Brad Richards cut the deficit to one only 21 seconds later, but it was too little, too late as the Blue Jackets held on for the 2-1 victory.

The win was the first for interim head coach Claude Noel, who toke over after the Ken Hitchcock firing on Wednesday.

Steve Mason made 22 saves to grab the win.

Columbus captain Rick Nash played in his 500th game, and assisted on Umberger’s goal.

Dallas did not commit any penalties, but was not able to capitalize on any of the three Columbus committed.

Buffalo

The Columbus Blue Jackets won by their largest goal differential of the season when they defeated the Buffalo Sabers 4-0 Saturday night.

Only minutes into the second period, Columbus opened the scoring with a fluke goal from Milan Jurcina that bounced off the back of Buffalo goaltender Patrick Lalime’s skate and into the net.

Things only got worse for Buffalo as Columbus proceeded to goals from Rick Nash, Anton Stralman, and Raffi Torres.

Steve Mason had 28 saves in the game. It was his third shutout of the year and the 13th of his career.

San Jose

Steve Mason stood tall all night as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated Western Conference-leading San Jose 3-0 on the strength of Mason’s second straight shutout.

Mason stopped all 40 Shark shots, and has stopped 90 of the last 91 shots directed at the CBJ net.

Rick Nash opened the scoring for Columbus with a first-period goal on a nice feed from winger Kristian Huselius.

The Blue Jackets added to their lead when forward Jakub Voracek took a breakaway pass from Derick Brassard and scored his first goal since December.

Before the game, Voracek said this would be the night the 26-game streak would be broken.

Mason withstood a furious onslaught of San Jose shots in the third to maintain the shutout and the win.

Antoine Vermette added an empty netter, his fifth goal in the last nine games, with 23.5 seconds remaining to seal the win for Columbus.

With the win, interim head coach Claude Noel improved his record to 3-0 behind the Columbus bench.

It was only the second time this season the Sharks have been shutout.

Power Play Watch:

The Jackets were 0-0 on the PP against Dallas, 2-6 against Buffalo, and 0-4 against San Jose.

On the year, the Jackets are 45 for 225, or 20 percent with the man advantage.

The Kill:

Columbus was 3-3 on the kill against Dallas, 5-5 against Buffalo, and 3-3 against San Jose.

This brings Columbus to 198-240 on the season, a rate of 82.5 percent when down a man.

Up Next:

The Blue Jackets will continue the home stand with games against Vancouver and Chicago before the two-week Olympic break hiatus.

Twitter: Rob_Ogden

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