Blue Jackets 3, Canucks 2
Monday, 06.18.2012 / 10:55 PM
PIC OF THE GAME
(click for full view)
The Canucks had a pair of near goals pulled off the goal line by the Blue Jackets preventing Vancouver from pulling off a comeback win in Columbus.
The Jackets held on for a 3-2 win despite intense pressure from the Canucks in the late stages, especially while on the power play late in the game after pulling goaltender Cory Schneider
for a two-man advantage.
Kristian Huselius scored the game-winner off a blue-collar assist from Rick Nash with 4:44 left in the third period to hand the Canucks their third straight loss and lift the Blue Jackets to their first win this season after allowing the first goal.
Columbus came in 0-6-3 when the opponent scored first, becoming the last team in the NHL to win after falling behind 1-0.
On the winning score, Nash had two defenders draped on him as he carried the puck out of the corner and over the left dot before feeding Huselius, who was all alone at the right side of the crease for an easy jam shot for his ninth of the year.
"We lost (track of) a pretty good player and he found a way to make a great play," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.
The Canucks threatened for much of the final two minutes. Rookie goaltender Steve Mason thrust his arms in the air in celebration - or was it relief? - as the final horn sounded.
Mason improved to 6-2-1 in his first professional season, stopping 29 shots. But it was anything but easy.
The Canucks peppered him with shots while on the power play late in the game after pulling goaltender Cory Schneider
for a two-man advantage. Mason's best save came with his glove on the ice on a shot by Kyle Wellwood, who had Vancouver's first goal.
Scored the game-winner with under five to play. Clutch play won the game.
Two assists, but he was a bull and kept the Canucks defence occupied all night.
Made 30 saves, including an unbelievable stop off Wellwood in the dying seconds that kept this one from OT.
"It was definitely a big scrum," Mason said. "It was a lot of fun to be a part of, especially since we came out on the winning end. It's not nice taking a penalty with about two minutes to go, but we did a great job killing it off."
The Canucks put four shots on goal, had two others go just wide and had another blocked during the frantic finish. Vancouver had 32 shots overall.
Fredrik Modin and Andrew Murray added goals for Columbus. Nash had two assists and Huselius had a helper to go with his winner.
gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead early in the final period. Alexander Edler
had two assists for the first time in his 120-game NHL career. The Canucks are 0-2 to start a seven-game road trip.
Murray evened it again midway through the third period when he backhanded in a rebound of Mike Commodore's drive from the point.
"I haven't been contributing like I need to," Murray said. "To be able to score a big third-period goal in a tight game like this, it's a great feeling."
After Huselius scored from Nash, the Blue Jackets hung on.
"This was kind of payback for the games we've played so well and then something (bad) has happened in the end," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That save Mase made was unbelievable ... terrific."
Notes: The game was the 300th home game for the Blue Jackets (137-121-18-24). ... The loss was the third in a row for the Canucks. ... Methot has assists in his last three games, the longest points streak in his career. ... Vancouver GT Curtis Sanford left with back spasms after stopping all 11 first-period shots. Schneider faced 18 shots, stopping 15.