Nash propels Blue Jackets past Capitals - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Nash propels Blue Jackets past Capitals

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By Dave Holstein

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Captain Rick Nash scored twice and

rookie goaltender Steve Mason made 26 saves as the Columbus Blue

Jackets rolled to a 3-0 triumph over the Washington Capitals on

Saturday.

Raffi Torres also tallied in support of the 20-year-old Mason,

who turned aside eight shots in the first period, eight in the

second and 10 in the third to secure his second shutout of the

season.

"(Mason) was good," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He has

been good for a little while now. If Mason continues to play

like this, the way the standings are and how valuable points

are, we've got to play him. We've got to play him quite a bit."

Washington's Alex Ovechkin was held scoreless for the first time

in his last 11 games. The defending Hart Trophy winner entered

with a 10-game points streak, recording 11 goals and 11 assists

in that span.

"I thought the Blue Jackets played a really good game,"

Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They came out, got the

lead and never stopped. They were solid defensively and took

advantage of their chances."

The Capitals' season-high losing streak on the road was extended

to four games. It was also only the second time this season

that they have been blanked.

"Just score the goals," Ovechkin said. "That's the difference;

we don't score the goals on the road like we do at home. We had

lots of chances tonight in the second period when we have the

power play. I had a couple of chances but just couldn't score

the goal."

In the first period, Torres opened the scoring with his first

goal of the season and his first as a member of the Blue

Jackets. He was traded from Edmonton to Columbus on July 1 for

Gilbert Brule. Torres missed most of last season and the first

10 games of this season due to injuries. His last goal was on

December 2, 2007.

"It's good to finally get a goal," Torres said. "Hopefully we

can keep it up."

Making his eighth start, Mason made a brilliant glove save on

Ovechkin, who blistered a shot from between the faceoff circles

at 8:24 of the second.

"The guys made it really easy to play tonight," Mason said.

"They were making sure the lanes were open so I could see the

shots. A lot of credit to them. They shut down one of the best

players in the league."

Nash followed his first goal with 5:16 left in the second. He

received a nice drop pass from center R.J. Umberger and his

blast from the right faceoff circle extended Columbus' lead to

2-0.

"I thought Nash was great," Hitchcock said. "He knew the

challenge. He wanted us to have the feeling that with all the

work we've put in, we we're going to be rewarded for it."

His second goal of the night came shorthanded as he took a

deflection and skated in on Capitals goalie Brent Johnson before

converting a backhander with 6:23 left in the third.

"I screwed up on the second one," Johnson said. "I made him do

exactly what I wanted to do. I poke-checked and he went to the

one side and I thought I was there, and he was able to slide it

through my pads."

Johnson made 28 saves for the Capitals.

The Capitals were playing without at least eight regulars due to

injury including defenseman Mike Green and Alexander Semin, who

is among the league leaders in points and goals.

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