Blue Jackets clip Red Wings
Jason Williams had the goal to beat his former teammates. Yet all the Detroit Red Wings could talk about was the kid in goal for Columbus who made that goal stand up.
Williams scored with 6:55 left to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over Detroit last night in Columbus, Ohio, ending the Stanley Cup champions' winning streak at six games.
The game marked the return of Columbus rookie goalie Steve Mason, who had missed three games while battling a draining case of mononucleosis. He stopped 32 shots, many while the Red Wings applied heavy pressure in the final minutes.
"It's the best I've felt in a really long time," said Mason, who leads the NHL in shutouts (7) and goals-against average (2.09). "I've a lot of pep back - my attitude, my demeanor or whatever. I feel really good right now."
His best save might have come with 38 seconds left when he slid laterally with stacked pads to thwart Henrik Zetterberg's shot. In the final 5 seconds, Mason sealed off the corner of the net to deflect a desperate shot by Marian Hossa.
"He's good. He's real good," said Chris Osgood, a three-time Cup winner in goal for the Red Wings. "He kind of reminds me of Tom Barrasso when he used to play. He's real agile and has quick reflexes and he's big. He doesn't just rely on his butterfly. He moves around and makes some big saves."
Williams, the former Detroit player acquired in a trade with Atlanta on Jan. 15, scored in his third straight game to help the Blue Jackets win their third in a row - all over teams in the tight Western Conference playoff race.
"It's always nice to score against your former team," said Williams, who broke in with the Red Wings in 2000-01 and played through the 2006-07 season, winning a ring of his own in 2002. "For that to be the game-winner, that's a little icing on the cake, I guess."
Raffi Torres and Jason Chimera also scored for Columbus, and Jake Voracek had two assists. Niklas Lidstrom and Mikael Samuelsson had tying goals for the Red Wings. Osgood finished with 22 saves.
The Red Wings had tied it earlier in the period when Samuelsson took a pass from Jiri Hudler and ripped a shot from the slot that Mason could not glove for his 16th of the season.
A crowd of 18,802 was the largest ever announced for a Columbus home game. They gave a lengthy standing ovation to the Blue Jackets at the finish.
"They've got a real good team," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
"They've got good balance and heavy bodies. And I thought Mason did a good job."
Sabres 6, Sharks 5 - Derek Roy scored the decisive shootout goal and had a goal and an assist in regulation in host Buffalo's victory over San Jose.
Jason Pominville, who snapped a 17-game goal drought, forced extra time by scoring with four seconds left in the third in a game in which the Sabres squandered two three-goal leads.
Ryan Miller sealed the win by getting his glove out to stop Milan Michalek's shootout attempt.
Joe Thornton had four assists, and Patrick Marleau scored twice for the Western Conference-leading Sharks.
Canadiens 4, Avalanche 2 - Andrei Kostitsyn scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:16 remaining, helping Montreal snap a seven-game road losing skid with a win over Colorado in Denver.
Blues 1, Blackhawks 0 - Brad Boyes scored a 4-on-3 power-play goal early in the third period, and Chris Mason made 22 saves as host St. Louis shut out Chicago for the second straight time.
Stars 2, Canucks 1 - Joel Lundqvist gave host Dallas the lead for good with his first goal of the season, and Marty Turco made 32 saves in the victory over Vancouver.
Panthers 2, Rangers 1 - Richard Zednik scored the only goal in the shootout, and Tomas Vokoun stopped all four New York attempts in surging Florida's victory in Sunrise, Fla.