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Boston at Nashville

Predators' Mason denies 38 shots, shuts down Bruins

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- One day soon Nashville Predators goaltender Chris Mason will once again be the backup. Meanwhile, he's making the most of his time in the net.

Mason stopped 38 shots Saturday night in a 5-0 victory over the Boston Bruins that gave him his fourth shutout of the season, a career high.

He entered the game ranked second in the NHL in save percentage and ninth in goals-against average. The victory over Boston was his 18th consecutive start for the Predators, the second longest streak in the league.

But when Tomas Vokoun returns to health in the next couple of weeks, Mason will have to move over to make room in the net.

"I just love playing hockey," Mason said. "I don't worry about the numbers too much. If you have a bad game it just really consumes so much of your thoughts. I love the opportunity I have right now. I'm just trying to take advantage of it."

Mason is happy with how he is playing. He doesn't plan to worry about going back to the bench until it becomes an issue.

"People on our team and on other teams realize we have two guys who can play," Mason said. "Vokoun is obviously one of the best goalies in the world. When a team has two guys who play goaltender that is a benefit."

Predators coach Barry Trotz admits that he'll have to do some juggling when Vokoun returns from hand surgery.

"We will do some rotating for a while and see where that goes," Trotz said. "We will try to keep both of them going if we can."

Paul Kariya, David Legwand and Jerred Smithson each scored and added an assist for Nashville.

Shea Weber and Josef Vasicek also scored for the Predators, who are 8-1-1 in the second half of back-to-back games. They rebounded from a disappointing 4-1 loss at Dallas on Friday night.

"I didn't feel good about the Dallas game," Trotz said. "And I know the players didn't. I thought our players responded with some good character and toughness. They didn't pout or whine. They just said, 'This is what we have to do,' and they went out and did it. They responded in the right way."

Legwand opened the scoring when he shot a one-timer past Boston goalie Hannu Toivonen on a breakaway at 9:38 of the first period.

"We made a good effort of throwing pucks to the net," Legwand said. "We had 25 shots in the game, but we have to start getting 30 to 35 a game. We have to create scoring chances."

Weber gave the Predators a 2-0 lead in the first when he blasted a slap shot from the slot from just inside the blue line that beat Toivonen to his stick side at 16:36.

In the second period, Jordin Tootoo took a shot from the inside rim of the right circle that bounced off of Smithson's leg and into the net at 10:53. Tootoo picked up two assists as the fourth line showed some offensive flair.

"Tootoo has been playing well the last few weeks," Smithson said. "He comes to play every night. He gives you a lot of room out there. It is nice to see him get rewarded with some points."

With 49 seconds left in the second period, Kariya fired a slap shot from the left circle that went over Toivonen's shoulder and into the top right corner of the net for a 4-0 Nashville lead.

In the third period Vasicek fired a slap shot from high in the slot that went above Toivonen's stick at 3:09.

"I think if you ask Toivonen, he is probably disappointed in his performance," Boston coach Dave Lewis said. "It was just one of those things. He hasn't had a lot of chances to get in the net."

The Predators are 6-1 against Eastern Conference teams this season. Despite the score, Lewis thought his team had a solid performance.

"I thought we played a heck of a hockey game," Lewis said. "I thought we played one of our better games of the year. The results weren't there, but we worked hard from the start until the very end."

Notes

  • Nashville's Steve Sullivan skated in his 700th NHL game.
  • Dan Hamhuis skated in his 200th NHL game for Nashville.
  • Mason has appeared in 24 games this season, breaking his career high of 23 set during the 2005-2006 season.
  • Toivonen had dressed as the backup in Boston's last seven games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Nashville stays atop the Central as goalie Chris Mason turns away 38 attempts.  (AP)
Nashville stays atop the Central as goalie Chris Mason turns away 38 attempts. (AP)

Scoreboard
Boston (19-14-3)0000
Nashville  (26-10-3) «2215
Three Stars
C. Mason
NSH


Saves: 38
Save Pct.: 1.000
P. Kariya
NSH


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
J. Tootoo
NSH


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:38David Legwand (11), Slap Shot - Assists: Paul Kariya, Dan Hamhuis
16:36Shea Weber (6), Slap Shot - Assists: Vernon Fiddler, Scott Hartnell
2ND PERIOD
10:53Jerred Smithson (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jordin Tootoo, Kimmo Timonen
19:11Paul Kariya (12), Snap Shot - Assist: David Legwand
3RD PERIOD
03:09Josef Vasicek (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jordin Tootoo, Jerred Smithson
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
20:00Murray: Roughing - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
05:03Timonen: Holding - 2 min.
15:57Suter: Roughing - 2 min.
15:57Mowers: Cross Check - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
03:56Radulov: Holding - 2 min.
07:21Weber: Hooking - 2 min.
16:33Axelsson: Game Misconduct - 10 min.
16:33Axelsson: Hooking - 2 min.
16:33Axelsson: Unsportsmanlike Conduct - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Boston12121438
Nashville117725
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Hannu Toivonen60:00205
Chris Mason60:00380
GAME INFORMATION
Attendance - 16612
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Greg Kimmerly, Don Van Massenhoven
Line Judges - Jonny Murray, Pierre Racicot
 
Other Games
Atl 1 Final
Buf 4
Ott 3 Final
OT
Tor 2
NJ 2 Final
NYI 0
Wash 1 Final
NYR 4
Mon 1 Final
TB 3
Colo 0 Final
StL 2
SJ 0 Final
Pho 8
Van 6 Final
Edm 2