Blue Jackets 3, Panthers 2, SO

The goal was important because it was Maksim Mayorov’s first in

the NHL.

That it came in a shootout and gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a

win made it even more special.

The rookie, playing in his ninth NHL game, had the lone goal in

his first NHL shootout, and Steve Mason stopped all three Florida

Panthers attempts to lead the Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win on Tuesday

night.

”We needed this goal. We needed this win,” Mayorov said after

Columbus ended a four-game losing skid and a string of six straight

home defeats. ”We tried so hard, we worked so hard. We deserved

this game.”

Shooting second for Columbus, Mayorov scored on a lefty shot

from the right hash, beating Scott Clemmensen on the glove

side.

He refused to concede that it was his No. 1 move.

”Oh, I’ve got a couple,” he said. ”It’s one of my

favorites.”

Mason then stopped Mike Santorelli and Sergei Samsonov to seal

the win and break the Blue Jackets’ streak of six consecutive

shootout losses.

”In the last two shootouts, we haven’t scored one goal,” he

said. ”Max made a great shot. In practice, his shot is very

deceptive. Obviously, it fooled Clemmensen.”

Scottie Upshall and Antoine Vermette scored in regulation for

Columbus.

”These guys needed a win to lose that crappy feeling we’ve had

for an extended period of time, especially at home,” Blue Jackets

coach Scott Arniel said. ”We were real good for most of the game.

Guys aren’t quitting, they’re still playing hard and going after

teams.”

Upshall, acquired at the trade deadline in a four-player deal

with Phoenix, was enthused about the performance.

”Great effort by our offensive guys. We created a lot of

chances early. We played just a solid game,” he said. ”We were on

the right side of the puck, we didn’t take too many chances. Guys

stepped up, a lot of guys played some big minutes and got the job

done for us.”

Mayorov, the Blue Jackets’ fifth pick and 94th overall in the

2007 draft, is trying to impress coaches so he can stick with the

team – the rest of this year and beyond.

”We battle every game, every period, every 20 minutes. We go as

hard as we can,” he said. ”Especially for me, I need to show the

coaches that I can play here.”

Evgeny Dadonov and David Booth had goals for Florida, which lost

its sixth in a row.

”We looked like we were playing our fifth game in seven

nights,” Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. ”It was a real gutsy

effort by our group. The last game of a road trip that hasn’t been

easy.”

To make matters even worse, the Panthers lost one of their

mainstays, veteran forward Marty Reasoner, for the rest of the game

after he blocked a shot in the first period.

Mason stopped 29 shots through overtime. Clemmensen had 30

saves.

The Blue Jackets were thrilled to finally leave their home ice

with a win.

”Certainly (Mason) has had a tough go, as has the rest of the

team, with us trying to score goals recently,” Arniel said. ”It’s

good for him. He won us the hockey game by shutting them down (in

the shootout). It was important for his confidence.”

Notes: The Blue Jackets signed G Allen York, a junior at RPI, to

a two-year, entry-level contract. … The Panthers were 1 for 3 on

the power play. The Blue Jackets failed on three opportunities and

are 0 for 36 over the last 10 games. … The franchises combined

for five wins and 23 losses since the trade deadline on Feb.

28.