Mason posts NHL-leading 10th shutout in Jackets' win

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Steve Mason made 16 of his 33 saves in

the third period for his franchise-record 10th shutout as the

Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Calgary Flames, 5-0, on Thursday

night in a possible first-round playoff preview.

Mason, who broke the mark set last season by Pascal Leclaire,

leads the NHL in shutouts and has the most for a rookie since

Tony Esposito had 15 for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1969-70

season.

Jason Williams had two power-play goals, Rick Nash had a

career-high four assists and Kristian Huselius also had four

assists in the penalty-filled game. The teams combined for 124

minutes - 64 by Columbus - with 110 coming in the second period,

when there were two fights, two game misconducts and four

misconducts.

Manny Malhotra and Williams had goals in the first period, and

Raffi Torres and R.J. Umberger gave Columbus a 4-0 lead in the

second.

Calgary, the third-place team in the Western Conference, has

dropped two straight. The sixth-place Blue Jackets are 7-1-1 in

their past nine as they try to qualify for their first playoff

appearance.

After failing to score through two periods of their previous two

games, the Blue Jackets took an early lead when Nash set up

Malhotra at 3:43 by breaking down the right side and cutting

sharply in the middle of the right circle.

That drew the attention of goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, and Nash

feathered a backdoor pass to Malhotra for the easy redirect into

the open net.

Columbus scored a power-play goal at 12:29, with Williams taking

a centering pass in the high slot from Huselius and using

Malhotra's screen in front. Williams' shot went through the

pads and trickled across the line as Kiprusoff reached back.

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