Shaky Mason leads to Jackets' loss
By Eric Smith
The Columbus Blue Jackets were blown out 6-3 by the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Thursday night, despite Kristian Huselius' hat trick.
Goaltender Steve Mason was pulled after the second period. This is the fourth time this year he has been yanked and NHL-leading 12th time since the beginning of last season.
"He (Mason) just has to find a way," Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. "He's in his own head right now. He's probably his own worst enemy right now, but were going to stick with him. We'll do everything we can to help him."
Mason gave up goals to Linus Omark, Jordan Eberle and Dustin Penner on 13 shots in the first period. Columbus (16-12-3) had 23 shots on net in the first, and Huselius had two goals. Yet, the Blue Jackets were down 3-2 at the end of the period.
"Fantastic start, those goals took the wind out of our sails," Arniel said.
The wheels fell off in the second as Mason (9-9-1) gave up three more goals and the Jackets couldn't keep pace. Arniel pulled Mason and put in Mathieu Garon, who didn't give up any goals on the nine shots he faced.
"I'm obviously trying to do what's right for the team and what's right for a young goaltender," Arniel said.
The Oilers (12-14-5) dropped Columbus to 0-3 on its current trip. The Blue Jackets lost at Calgary on Monday and at Vancouver on Wednesday.
"We thought it was going to be an easier game than Vancouver," Huselius said.
"We knew if we played a wide-open game, they would hurt you. That's not the game we wanted to play, and we did."
Nikolai Khabibulin (8-11-2) stopped everyone on the Blue Jackets except for Huselius. He was spectacular at times, stopping 37 of 40 shots.
Notes: The 23 shots that the Blue Jackets had in the first period were the most in franchise history for a period on the road. The previous record was 19 (three times).