Blue Jackets goaltending sensation Steve Mason to skip YoungStars game

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Blue Jackets goaltending sensation Steve Mason will skip this weekend's NHL YoungStars Game to rest his ailing back, general manager Scott Howson said Tuesday.

The YoungStars game is part of the all-star weekend and features 10-player sophomore and rookie teams facing off. Mason was to have played for the rookie team.

"Steve has been playing through some back spasms for the past two weeks," Howson said in a release. "After talking it over with our medical staff, everyone decided the best course of action would be that he use the all-star break to rest."

Mason has started in all eight Columbus games this month, and 13 straight overall, before Tuesday's action, going 17-10-1 with a 1.91 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and six shutouts.

He leads the NHL in GAA and shutouts, while ranking second in save percentage and ninth in wins. He's started 28 of 33 games since being recalled from Syracuse of the AHL on Nov. 4.

"I am honoured that the NHL picked me to play in the YoungStars Game," Mason said in a statement. "And while I am disappointed that I won't be able to go, my top priority is my health and my team. I hope everyone will understand that."

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