NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Vancouver
(Monday, October 5th)
Final Score: Columbus 5, Vancouver 3
Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Steve Mason made 40 saves to help the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-3 win and keep the Vancouver winless on the season in the Canucks' home-opener.
Last season's Calder Trophy winner and a runner-up for the Vezina, Mason has not suffered a sophomore slump thus far in the season as he has stopped 72- of-76 shots faced to help the Blue Jackets win their first two games of the season for the first time in franchise history.
Kristian Huselius, Antoine Vermette and Rostislav Klesla each had a goal and an assist while Rick Nash had three assists for Columbus, which made it to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last season.
Willie Mitchell had a goal and an assist while Christian Ehrhoff and Henrik Sedin each scored for the Canucks, who have dropped their first three games this season after winning the Northwest Division last season.
Much of the reason for the poor start for Vancouver rests on goaltender Roberto Luongo. He started the game in net, but was pulled early in the second period after giving up four goals on 12 shots. On the season, he has allowed 10 goals on 61 shots. Andrew Raycroft relieved Luongo between the pipes and finished the game with 11 saves.
"We're confident we can come back. That's not a big issue, but we have to be worried about playing 60 minutes and not pressing," said Luongo.
With the score tied at the start of the second period, Columbus scored three times in the first 5:51 to chase Luongo.
The first goal came 2:07 in as Nash left a drop pass for Huselius, who skated to the right circle and hit the brakes before firing the puck into the net.
A pair of goals separated by 22 seconds gave the Blue Jackets a 4-1 lead. The first goal came at the 5:29 mark when Huselius circled to the right boards and left the puck for Klesla, who wristed the puck home from the right circle for his second goal of the year.
Moments later, a passing play on the rush saw the puck come over to the left circle where Nikita Filatov swept it home. Luongo skated to the bench and Raycroft took over.
Vancouver got a goal back at the 8:27 mark as Ehrhoff's slap shot got past Mason to make it a 4-2 contest.
The Canucks had an early power play in the third when Jan Hejda was called for holding at the 4:01 mark, but the Blue Jackets killed the advantage thanks in part to a beautiful glove save by Mason on a Steve Bernier one-timer from the left circle.
The save proved fortunate as the Canucks made it a one-goal game at the 7:37 mark. Off a right circle faceoff win the puck made its way to Mitchell at the left point and he cranked a slap shot that went off the right post and in.
A few minutes later, Mason again flashed the glove as he robbed Mikael Samuelsson of the potential game-tying goal off a wrister from the right circle.
Columbus got a man advantage with 5:28 to play as Samuelsson was called for hooking when R.J. Umberger drove to the net and the team made it a two-goal game. Kris Russell corralled a bouncing puck at the left point and sent it over to the right point for a one-timer from Fedor Tyutin that found its way into the net with 3:57 to play.
The Canucks drew first blood in the game with 4:31 to play in the first. A slap shot from the right point by Kevin Bieksa got to the net and was eventually slammed in by Sedin for a 1-0 lead.
Vancouver had 1:19 of a 5-on-3 power play later in the first, but was unable to take advantage and, as the second power play expired, Columbus tied the game.
On a rush down the other end, Vermette skated into the zone down the left side and slid it over to Mathieu Roy at the right side. Roy then dumped the puck down low where Nash sent it back to the front of the net and Vermette tapped it in.
Columbus right wing Jared Boll left the game in the first period and did not return...Columbus continues its three-game road trip in San Jose on Thursday...The Canucks host Montreal on Wednesday...The last time Vancouver dropped its first three games of the season was the start of the 2001-02 campaign...The Blue Jackets took three of four against the Canucks last season...Columbus went 1-for-3 on the power play while Vancouver was held off the board on its three chances.
10/06 03:42:30 ET