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Mason ends Sharks road winning streak
Netminder makes 40 saves in shutout
2/10/10 - By Mike Lee -

The nine-game road winning streak is no more. San Jose ran into a second-year goaltender that has suddenly found his mojo and a resurgent cell-dweller that is looking for a way to get back into the playoff race. San Jose fell victim to the Columbus Blue Jackets and goaltender Steve Mason’s 40 save performance on the eve of their last chance to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in the regular season this year. The Sharks may have looked past the Blue Jackets in a lack luster 3-0 loss at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday night.

Mason weathered a 20-shot 3rd period by San Jose , earning his second shutout in his last three games.

Columbus scored the game’s first goal 13:18 into the game on a Rick Nash deflection. Kristian Huselius scooped up an Andrew Vermette pass in the right corner before circling back toward the goal. With Rob Blake parked on the near post, Huselius whipped a pass through the slot to Nash for the redirect goal.

Jakob Voracek made it 2-0 at 8:40 of the 2nd period. San Jose fell victim to some bad luck, when a Devin Setoguchi pass bounced off Blue Jackets forward Raffi Tores’ skate in the Columbus zone and deflected out to center ice, creating an odd man rush. Derick Brassard scooped up the loose rebound and raced up the left wing before shipping the puck over to Voracek, who slid a backhand shot trough goaltender Thomas Greiss’ pads.

Dan Boyle had activated in the offensive zone, allowing the odd-man rush for Columbus . The speedy Voracek easily beat the defenseman on the way to the net.

Mason earned his pay in the final period, when the Sharks started to turn up the heat. He stoned Ryane Clowe on a blast from the left side with 13 minutes play, then he snared a Kent Huskins snap-shot on a 3-on-2 break 5 minutes later with a spectacular glove save.

Greiss only faced half as many shots as Mason, but didn’t receive any scoring help from his teammates. His kept his team in the game in the 3rd period by making a series of big saves.

Newly acquired defenseman Niclas Wallin showed off his offensive skills by pinching on a play with three minutes to play, snapping a nice wrist-shot on goal, but Mason was there to smother the puck.

The Sharks pulled Greiss in a last ditch effort to get on the board, but it just wasn’t their night offensively. Vermette beat Boyle to a loose puck in the Sharks zone, then chipped the puck up the boards. He would scoop up his only clearing chance and skate the puck into the empty net to cap the scoring.

Game Notes:

From the glass is half full department, it was the first time in six games that San Jose didn’t give up a power play goal. The Sharks had allowed 7 power play tallies in 21 chances in their previous five games. Through all of that, the penalty kill still ranks 3rd in the league.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
CBJ 1 1 1 3
1st period - 1, CBJ, Nash 26 (Huselius, Vermette), 13:18.
2nd period - 2, CBJ, Voracek 9 (Brassard, Torres), 8:40.
3rd period - 3, CBJ, Vermette 19 (Hejda), 19:36, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Boll, CBJ (elbowing), 8:33; Thornton, SJ (tripping), 15:49.
2nd period - Huselius, CBJ (boarding), 6:20; Dorsett, CBJ (holding), 9:35; Bench, SJ (too many men), 13:26; Staubitz, SJ (tripping), 17:12.
3rd period - Blake, SJ (hooking), 7:40.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Greiss 20 18
SJ - empty net 1 0
TOR - Giguere 40 40
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 11 20 40
CBJ 8 4 9 21
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
CBJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Steve Mason
Jakob Voracek
Derick Brassard
Attendence
15,234
Officials
Referees: O'Halloran, Morton. Linesmen: Champoux, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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