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Columbus at St. Louis

Blues special teams score five times past Blue Jackets rookie Mason

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- After four extremely stingy games, Steve Mason looked like a rookie.

The Blues' special teams cooled off the Blue Jackets' rookie goalie, accounting for all of St. Louis' goals in a 5-2 victory over Columbus on Saturday.

"I just wasn't very good," Mason said. "I was giving up rebounds, a couple of five-hole goals, so it wasn't a very good game by myself."

Keith Tkachuk scored the go-ahead goal in the second period -- one of four power-play goals for St. Louis -- and B.J. Crombeen had a short-handed score for the Blues, last in the Western Conference.

Alexander Steen, who had a goal and two assists, said getting to Mason was an emphasis in coach Andy Murray's pre-game talk.

"We wanted to test him, get a lot of shots and try to move him as much as possible and not let him get comfortable," Steen said. "I thought we did a good job of that."

The Blues won for only the third time in 13 games and ended Columbus' four-game winning streak. The Blues beat the Blue Jackets for the fifth straight time overall, although this was the first of six meetings this season.

Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock thought the Blues' determination to bust their slump was a bigger factor than special teams.

"They were really desperate, and they played like that," Hitchcock said. "They had skilled players who really outworked our penalty killers."

Mason's run of three straight shutouts, a franchise record, ended when he allowed a first-period goal in a 6-1 victory at Colorado on Friday night. He was back in the net a day later with a gaudy 1.65 goals-against average and only one start in his last 11 allowing more than two goals.

Mason refused to use fatigue as an excuse.

"When you play juniors, you play three nights in a row, so back-to-back is no big deal," Mason said. "

Fredrik Modin had a goal and an assist and Rick Nash had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who were held to 22 shots after averaging 29 during the winning streak.

Manny Legace made 20 saves for the Blues and is 18-4-1 against Columbus, including a nine-game winning streak. The Blues also played on consecutive nights, but alternated goalies after Chris Mason was in net for a 2-1 loss at Carolina on Friday.

"One team was probably going to play a little more tired than the other," Murray said. "You have to try to make the other team play tired."

Brad Winchester, T.J. Oshie and Steen also scored power-play goals for the Blues, who were 4-for-9 with the advantage. The Blues scored twice in the opening 5:41 and responded after the Blue Jackets tied it later in the first period.

Tkachuk tapped a rebound between Mason's pads on a power play to put the Blues ahead at 6:39 of the second period, which featured only seven shots between the teams. All but four of Tkachuk's 14 goals have come on the power play, tying him for the team lead with Brad Boyes.

The Blues led 2-0 and had outshot Columbus 10-0 after Crombeen's short-handed goal at 5:41 of the first, also getting Winchester's sixth goal of the season on an early power play. The first goal ended a run of 25 straight penalty kills by the Blue Jackets, including six on Friday at Colorado.

A giveaway by Barret Jackman on a clearing attempt up the middle led to the Blue Jackets' first two shots, and a goal by Mike Commodore at 7:03. Modin tapped in his own rebound from the side of the net just over five minutes later for his first goal in nine games and ninth overall, ending a flurry of seven straight shots by Columbus.

Notes

  • Blues forward David Backes drew a game misconduct with about five minutes left in the first after apparently cross-checking Kristian Huselius in the mouth, although Murray thought only both players' sticks made contact. Huselius was hit after stopping just short of a check only seconds after Backes and Jackman sandwiched Nash on an open-ice hit.
  • Tkachuk has 87 power-play goals with the Blues in parts of eight seasons, passing Garry Unger for fourth on the franchise career list.
  • Nash has 10 points, eight assists, in the last five 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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Brad Winchester gets behind Steve Mason to score the first of four power play goals. (Getty Images)
Brad Winchester gets behind Steve Mason to score the first of four power play goals. (Getty Images)

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Scoreboard
Columbus (18-17-4)2002
St. Louis  (15-21-3) «2125
Three Stars
A. Steen
STL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
T. Oshie
STL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Y. Stastny
STL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:10Power Play - Brad Winchester (6), Snap Shot. Assist: Boyes, Steen
05:41Short - B.J. Crombeen (8), Tip-In. Assist: Stastny, Jackman
07:03Mike Commodore (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Modin, Nash
12:20Fredrik Modin (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Nash, Hejda
2ND PERIOD
06:39Power Play - Keith Tkachuk (14), Slap Shot. Assist: Colaiacovo, Perron
3RD PERIOD
07:59Power Play - T.J. Oshie (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Steen, Woywitka
19:29Power Play - Alexander Steen (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Crombeen, Polak
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:09Klesla, 2 min, High-Sticking
03:34Malhotra, 2 min, Hooking
05:01Boyes, 2 min, Tripping
10:06Russell, 2 min, Interference
15:21Tyutin, 2 min, Instigator
15:21Tyutin, 5 min, Fighting
15:21Tyutin, 10 min, Misconduct
15:21Backes, 5 min, Cross-Checking
15:21Backes, 5 min, Fighting
15:21Backes, 10 min, Misconduct
2ND PERIOD
23.0McClement, 2 min, Hooking
02:00Nash, 2 min, Slashing
02:00Jackman, 2 min, Roughing
03:11Voracek, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
06:27Backman, 2 min, Holding
08:19Hejda, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
01:55Jackman, 2 min, Slashing
06:32Commodore, 2 min, Interference
09:29McClement, 2 min, Holding
17:45Commodore, 2 min, Slashing
19:07Umberger, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Columbus831122
St. Louis164727
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Steve Mason60:00225
Manny Legace59:50202
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Columbus0-for-5
St. Louis4-for-9
Game Information
Attendance - 19150
Referees - Stephane Auger, Rob Shick
Linesmen - Lonnie Cameron, Jean Morin
 
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